As Josh likes to be outside, he originally wanted to do something like landscape gardening. Carla contacted various people to try and secure him a gardening job, even responding to Facebook posts from local people looking for a gardener, but unfortunately nothing came to fruition.
Carla said: “I think some people are apprehensive, even frightened of employing someone with a learning disability. I would respond to requests for gardeners on Facebook and once I had explained about how Joshua is, I wouldn’t hear back from them. It was quite demoralising for us really, but I do understand it’s daunting for people if they aren’t sure what to expect.”
When Sam Towns, ECL Inclusive Employment Consultant, entered Josh and Carla’s lives, Josh’s employment prospects improved considerably. She worked closely with them both, completing a vocational profile to establish what type of job Josh wanted and would suit his strengths and skills. Sam supported Josh to create a CV and reach out to potential employers. it wasn’t long before she spotted the position as a ground’s maintenance operative at Langdon Hills Golf Club, which had the potential to be Josh’s dream job.
Sam supported Josh on his interview, job trial and induction training at Langdon Hills, as well as helping him to submit an ‘access to work’ claim for help with the cost of transport. In the meantime, she drove Josh to and from work while the claim was being processed.
Carla explained: “Sam did a lot for us. Josh felt very comfortable with Sam, I could tell that straightaway. I had no worries sending him off with Sam to start work.”
Sam said “Josh now works 3 days a week at Langdon Hills. Tony and the team have been brilliant, so welcoming and keen to help Josh settle in. Josh didn’t need me for long, I now just do regular check-ins and Tony, Josh and Carla know I am always here if they need me”.
Josh added, “I was quite nervous at first but as I got to know the guys more I improved, and now do my job quite well”.
Since starting work Carla said: “Josh has matured quite a lot. I never have to wake him up for work in the morning, he’s always up and in his uniform raring to go. He just loves his job – I can’t thank ECL and Langdon Hills enough. It’s really worked out well, he seems to be getting on great, and everyone likes him from what I’ve heard. It’s just wonderful really, not everyone would give Josh an opportunity like this.”
Sam said: “Our goal is to change lives like we have for Josh. It makes me so proud to see him happy in his job. My dream is for every business to be as inclusive as Langdon Hills, that would just be amazing!”