Client Success Story: Wolverhampton Beer Festival
On Saturday 10 June, four of Enable’s clients – Kelly, Rory, Sam and Scott – were offered a one off job opportunity working behind the scenes at a Beer and Cider Festival at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton.
Kelly is 31 has a learning disability and lives in supported living accommodation. She worked two days at the Beer Festival where her duties involved collecting beer glasses, washing up, taking the clean glasses back out to the counter, keeping the areas tidy, liaising with staff to see what she needed do as well as interacting with members of the public. In addition to being paid for this work this gave Kelly a sense of personal pride and achievement, the opportunity to meet members of the public along with a referee for her CV for future job applications.
Rory, 26 who has autism and learning difficulties worked two days at the Beer Festival. Rory, can sometimes find it difficult meeting people he does not know but this gave him an opportunity to meet with the public and on this occasion he was able to interact well with the staff at the Festival along with members of the public. Rory proved to himself that, given the right circumstances and support, he can overcome some of his anxieties and enjoyed what he did. He was paid for working, which was a positive experience for him alongside having the chance to meet new people. He too has another referee and paid work experience on his CV for presentation to future employers.
Sam, 34, has learning difficulties. He was in receipt of support from Accord Housing which has now ceased due to restructuring. Sam also worked for two days at the Beer Festival which involved keeping areas clear, following health and safety procedures, collecting empty glasses, washing up and interacting with both staff and members of the public. Sam found this work to be most rewarding, motivating and helped him to build on his time keeping skills. Sam was able to experience what paid work involves and how it feels thereby giving him a satisfactory feeling of self-worth and feeling valued. Sam too, has additional experience to add to his CV from the Beer Festival along with a positive reference and the desire to continue working.
Scott is 27 and has a learning disability but does not receive any support from Social Services. Scott worked for two days at the Beer Festival and found it to be an extremely positive experience – giving him the enthusiasm to pursue future paid work opportunities. He is now employed at the Molineux as a Kitchen Porter where he has responsibility for keeping the kitchen clean and clear, restocking the trollies to take back to the function rooms and assisting the kitchen staff with other suitable duties within his role. Scott thoroughly enjoys working which, as well as earning money, has given him the opportunity to meet new people thereby widening his social circle and feeling of self-worth.
The beer festival was a resounding success and thoroughly enjoyed by the clients. Every one of Enable’s Job Coaches and Business Development Officers involved in supporting Kelly, Rory, Sam and Scott have said that they worked very hard and enjoyed the experience. All four were complimented by other members of staff, as well as by visitors to the festival.
Amanda Hignett, Staffing Officer for the Festival was so impressed that she has offered to write references, stating: “They have been absolutely fabulous and it has been a pleasure to work with them!”
This feeling was reiterated by Rob, who runs Jesters Café, part of Newhampton Arts Centre, who said that if the Arts Centre plays host to the Festival next year, he would be happy for Kelly, Rory, Sam and Scott to work for him again.