PUSH - iWork Project
This client is a 17-year-old student who came to us from Perth Grammar School’s Learning Support Unit, to join the ESF programme. The school felt that she needed help to build her confidence and her skills base.
The client had initially been at a private school but struggled to maintain her placement. To improve her skill set she went to the Grammar School and while in her final year began her placement with us. Initially, she seemed outwardly confident but she struggled when working alone. She always liked to work with somebody, perhaps for confidence or reassurance. It was also quite difficult for her to follow one-step directions.
Initially we noticed she worked well with another student from her school and she always seemed to gravitate to work with her. Sometimes that works well but in this case, they became too reliant on each other, which did not promote their independence or increase their confidence. So I started to send one of them to work on one task and one on another. That seemed to work for this young person, because she engaged better with the activities and found them enjoyable. The activities included processing and cleaning stock upstairs, and sorting, wrapping and boxing up our Blythswood charity donations.
We then got her to team up with a staff member who was responsible for our Gumtree listings (we sell some of our furniture online). She learned how to list items and all about the technology of the site. The process involved several steps such as downloading photos, uploading them to Gumtree and producing a page with a description of the item, the measurements, etc. It’s quite straightforward but can present a challenge for people who aren’t confident with IT. The staff member said it only took a couple of weeks before the young person was confident using Gumtree and was able to list an item independently. It’s really helped to develop her teamwork capabilities and her IT skills.
One year on, our young person has definitely grown in confidence a lot. She’s eager to take on tasks and learn new tasks, whether she’s working as part of a team or on her own. She’s really interested in the cash register, which is great. She’s picking up and learning how to carry out the tasks on it and she’s nearly at a stage where she can carry out the whole transaction herself. She needs prompting sometimes on which department things belong to, or may get a little stuck on keying in the price, but she’s fantastic at tasks such as making change.
I was working the cash register with her on Friday and she dealt with a customer enquiry all by herself. I acknowledged how well she’d done afterwards, taking the initiative to welcome a customer, and answering a question independently. She’s very polite and will now happily greet customers when they come in and really engage with them.
As well as funding our roles, the ESF funding also gives us the chance to apply to Community Job Scotland, an organisation which funds a couple of our trainee positions a year. One of our current trainees came to us through Community Job Scotland and this client enjoys working with her. They’re good at different things and they help each other and learn from one another.
Overall, this client is far less reliant on others than when she started at PUSH, and has a real sense of achievement. She’s made great progress. Furthermore, after the summer she’s going back to the private school that she attended initially, where she will continue her studies.
If you would like to find out more about how you can learn new skills, work in a business and develop your self-confidence and independence, you can pop in and visit PUSH, email [email protected] or call 01738 621929. Our shop hours are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
We’ll have an initial chat to find out about you and your interests, then, if you’d like to try an hour or two (before deciding if you want to register on the programme), we can arrange a time for you to come into the reuse shop or warehouse. You can even try it out on the same day you come in.
If you’re an employer, charity or other organisation who’d like to work with us or find out more about how we support our participants, please call 01738 621929 or email [email protected].