Ellen is 30 years old, she has Down syndrome, loves dancing, and all things geeky; including Star Wars and Dr. Who. Ellen was very keen to secure paid employment either working in a shop or cinema and was willing to work hard to achieve her dream.

Please note: We are not able to provide you with embedded media as your cookie preferences do not meet the requirements that our 3rd party services need.

You can either view the media directly by clicking here. Or you can enable Marketing Cookies to view this media directly on the ECL site.

“Ellen is really enjoying her job, she comes home happy and smiling”, Ellen’s mum, Mary.

Portrait picture of female with brown hair preparing a smoothie in a cafe as part of her Inclusive Employment.

Ellen followed an accredited vocational training scheme at ECL Greenacres, gaining an ASDAN qualification in catering. She also gained valuable work experience by taking part in the Mitie Ready2Work Programme, as well as volunteering at a pop-up café.

Inclusive Employment Consultant Caroline had carried out a full vocational profile with Ellen, so when she saw the advertisement for sales assistant roles at Geek Retreat; a café and shop specialising in all things geeky, she knew it would be perfect for Ellen! Having spoken with Richard, the owner, she knew he was very open to the idea of Inclusive Employment. Richard received over 200 applications, but he could see from Ellen’s CV that she had the relevant skills and experience and was keen to interview her.

Richard sent the interview questions in advance, which allowed Ellen, supported by Caroline, to prepare her answers and practice speaking loudly and with confidence. All the hard work and preparation paid off and Ellen was delighted to be offered 4 hours a week of paid employment; serving customers and keeping the café and shop clean and tidy.

Caroline practiced the bus route to work with Ellen and accompanied her at her initial training and first shifts, slowly reducing her level of support as Ellen needed her less. Caroline commented “I will always be at the end of the phone for both Ellen and Richard if they need me, I am delighted with the outcome so far, it’s perfect for everyone”

When asked about her new job, Ellen smiled and said “I’m very happy” adding “I feel comfortable with Richard” and “I’m looking forward to earning some money to buy a Star Wars bobblehead”.

Group of three adults standing next to each other, standing behind a counter.

Find out more

To find out more about ECL’s Inclusive Employment Service visit our Inclusive Employment website page.

Inclusive Employment