PUSH - iWork Project
This client came to us last year from the Learning Support Unit at Blairgowrie High School. She stayed for one academic year. She was initially dropped off with her support worker and she came across as quite a quiet and unassuming person. She started working with a peer but, rather than interacting with each other, they were working in a parallel way, doing the same things. That could have been because the peer was quite new too. There wasn’t that team working yet.
We get many of our referrals from schools, and I think it’s because we’re flexible around what we can offer. Young people can come along for half an hour or an hour just to try it out, and we can build up from there. There’s that flexibility along with a supportive environment.
This client was more comfortable working upstairs in the processing room than downstairs in the shop. So we asked her to prepare stock for sale, sort through donations and pack our Blythswood packages. She did a stint on IT too, with Gumtree, and she did well. She took a little while to be able to do it independently but, with support, she was able to list an item for sale.
At first this young person was quite reliant on her support worker who’d stay with her while she worked. But, over time, the support worker took a step back and slowly transitioned out, and the young person started coming on her own. She became more vivacious in her character, engaged more in conversation with us, and she’d have a laugh and a joke. Then, because the peer worker was also starting to develop in confidence, the parallel jobs became teamwork and they started working together and having more general conversations about the weekend etc.
The client started gaining the confidence to come in and work with us independently, and her support worker became superfluous to her progression. So she transitioned out, from being there the whole time, to one hour, to half an hour then not coming at all. We would praise our client for getting here on her own. It was great to see the growth within her, and see her coming out of her shell more. Because she was on her own doing something, she had to engage in the tasks and engage with her peers and with us. She was always very willing to carry out tasks.
Gradually, towards the end of her placement, we did actually get her to work downstairs with us. She needed support throughout, but she was willing to work on the cash registers and have that face-to-face interaction with customers.
What we offer to young people is a transition step. We pick them up in their final year and support them through that year. They’re always welcome to come back in the summer, too; there’s no stipulation about how long they can stay. It’s a stepping stone to keep them afloat, rather than falling off when they finish school. Also, because retail is standardised, they can take their skills anywhere.
This young person is now going on to Perth College. She’s more confident in carrying out new tasks herself and she recognises that in herself. She’s much more self-directing.
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].