Eliot opens his own business

Thanks to a work experience placement, Eliot has set up his own business doing what he loves – valeting cars.

Eliot started at Communication Specialist College Doncaster on a three-day a week timetable to make the transition in to college successful for Eliot.

Eliot chose to follow a Motor Vehicle programme. When Eliot felt ready to do work a experience placement, the college team supported him. He had identified that he was good at car valeting and wanted to do this. The work experience team secured him a work placement at Stoneacre in the valeting department.

Eliot went to work experience every Thursday afternoon, initially with support and then independently. Over time the placement was extended to a full day.

During his time in college and on placement Eliot came to the conclusion that he would like to own his own car valeting business. The work experience team supported Eliot to start up his own car valeting business called Eliot’s Shine.

Eliot now works two days a week valeting cars to a professional standard and uses the money he makes to buy products and equipment in preparation for when he finishes college. Eliot will then register his business and formally become self-employed.

Lee wins supported internship

Lee Harding, who is registered blind, did not let his disability hold him back when he left Henshaws and returned home to the North East.

Whilst at college Lee took part in employability training, work experience and Young Enterprise activities which laid the foundations for his progression.

Despite significant competition, Lee secured a place on a Supported Internship with Newcastle Hospitals Trust delivered in partnership with Gateshead College, where he now receives coaching in the workplace.

Theresa, Lee’s mum said: “Lee has become a lot more independent and is much more confident. He can do more things for himself and it was wonderful to see him being able to do things like going to the pub with his mates and having the same experiences as other young people do at his age.”

His confidence has grown

“In education Gilly has progressed in every area more than we ever thought he could.

“Socially, he tells us everyone is his friend. He has had the freedom within the college to go out on his own to visit other houses, something he’s never been able to do before, so his confidence has grown with him.”

April Wickes – Gilly’s mum

Now I have my own flat

“Orpheus was the best time of my life. I have always loved music and Orpheus allowed me to develop this passion.

“From studying at Orpheus my confidence has grown massively and I now use this confidence in all areas of my life.
“In 2014 I moved into my own flat. I now have to cook for myself every day. The things I learned at Orpheus were budgeting, shopping, planning meals, cooking and cleaning.
“My favourite things to cook are chicken Kiev, toad in the hole and pizza. I also make my own sandwiches and cook loads of other things! I love getting involved with my community and host a weekly radio show on the local station. Without Orpheus, none of this would have been possible.”

Finding her voice

“Technology in college is really good. I use a Vantage Light to help me talk, the staff are good at helping me with it. The people in college are good. I have lots of friends in college. My favourite subject is English, the work is exciting.”

Flourishing at work

David is passionate about Pokemon, comedy and Yugioh. When he first came to Bridge College, David encountered significant difficulties managing his emotions and struggled to interact with others. He had limited community access and regularly expressed that he hated coming to college.

A multidisciplinary approach supported David to develop his social skills, confidence and ability to regulate his emotions. Consequently, David started to manage his emotions more effectively, enjoy college and have increased community access.

He worked with Lauren Blease (Work Experience Coordinator) to identify his aspirations for the future. Initially David expressed he wanted to work as a librarian or as a radio presenter.

Following these work experience placements, David indicated that he would like to try a placement at Fan Boy Three (games shop). Here David flourished and developed in confidence when interacting with others.

His special interests, Pokemon and Yugioh, proved to be desirable in this context. David can now independently carry out tasks such as putting the stock out, answering questions from customers and operating the till. Employers at Fan Boy 3 are now discussing paid employment following David’s transition from college

Freedom to move on her own

When Hazel arrived at Beaumont she had a manual wheelchair which she could self-propel for short distances. She depended on support staff to assist with mobility when out in the community and within larger indoor environments.

Following her OT assessment, Hazel was supported by her occupational therapist at college to have some one-to-one trial lessons using a college indoor powered wheelchair.

She worked hard to develop her attention and concentration and increase her driving skills. The college OT then supported Hazel to apply for a powered wheelchair from local wheelchair services.

Whilst on the waiting list for a power chair Hazel continued to build up her driving skills in college with her support staff. Once she received her own indoor/outdoor power chair

Hazel worked hard with her support staff and her OT to develop her driving skills.

Now she can drive with minimal prompts and supervision in community environments and on public transport.

Hazel has worked with her key worker to have a balance of using both her manual wheelchair and her power chair to maintain her self-propelling skills as well as allow her to be as independent as possible using her power chair