PUSH - iWork Project
We first met this client about three years ago when he came along to our allotment in Letham. He was encouraged to attend by Skills Development Scotland. He really struggled with multi-step directions due to his cognitive disability. On this occasion he stayed with us for only a couple of weeks then he came back to us about a year ago, ready to work. He’s very much a grafter and he likes to be hands-on when he’s got a job to do.
Initially, this young man lacked teamwork and social skills. For example, when he was out in the van he would tell us stories about how he’d been out joyriding in his Lamborghini at the weekend. It could have been a way to engage in conversation or to be something in the group. He also still struggled with following directions and he needed a lot of support to carry out tasks when he was down at the warehouse.
When he came back to us, it was again through Skills Development Scotland. We realised that working at the shop was not for this client, as he doesn’t enjoy customer interaction as much as some of the others, so we placed him for work in the warehouse.
He initially did one day a week but he’s increased that to two. He usually goes out with a staff member doing pick-ups and deliveries, as well as scrap metal runs and waste runs.
This client has also tried to work on the furniture cataloguing but that’s more of a struggle for him, as he has some difficulties with reading, writing and numbers. The pure grafting side of things is much more appealing.
He’s learning about customer service at the warehouse and picking up skills and information, such as the importance of recycling (we do our own metal recycling). Everything that comes in, from microwave ovens to exercise bikes, goes in a pile and gets broken down once a week and goes off to the scrap merchant. He’s learning about the importance of a circular economy. We’ve also got him servicing our container, and although it’s not directly taught he understands the process of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
One year after this client started with us, there’s only the odd story now about him going out in his Lamborghini. He’s really calmed down on that. Although he’s still a little nervous when chatting to peers, he will have more appropriate conversations in the van.
He’s now able to follow through with tasks and he works well as part of a team. He’s also able to work on his own; if we set him a task he can carry it out himself and does a good job with it. He’s an all-rounder and he’s reliable for carrying out tasks and he’s willing to put his hand to anything.
His confidence has really developed, along with his skills. He likes it because he gets to go to new places and he meets new people, and that’s why he’s increased his days from one to two. I also wouldn’t rule him out for a Community Jobs Scotland position. We’re still looking for another driver and if we got a small pot of money and could take him on for 12 hours or so, I’ve got the confidence in him to carry out the tasks that are necessary to be part of the team and do the warehouse work.
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].