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Laura is loving her first ever job

Cornish woman Laura is in work for the first time in her life after receiving help to overcome a series of barriers to land a job working in a garden centre restaurant.

Laura (left) with Fedcap's Occupational Inclusion Specialist, Becky Smith (right)

Why Laura joined the IPES programme

With no paid job history, but plenty of voluntary experience, Laura was finding it hard to find work. Laura has autism and speech impairment, which means she often found it difficult to communicate with employers. Laura joined our Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) programme in 2021.

How Fedcap helped

It was clear from the outset how determined and committed Laura was. Fiercely independent and always presenting herself in an exceptional manner, her willingness to learn and adapt to new environments was evident.

Laura was partnered with Specialist Key Worker Aimee Byliefeldt and Occupational Inclusion Specialist Becky Smith, who worked collaboratively to support Laura on her journey.

With some great transferable skills obtained from her volunteering roles, Laura would be an asset to many teams.

The duo started to land job interviews with local companies, but despite impressing potential employers, she wasn’t initially successful. However, this interview practice enhanced Laura’s confidence and it wasn’t long before she nabbed the perfect role.

Getting the job

Local garden centre, Tamar View Nurseries, reported a vacancy in their restaurant. Becky had several conversations with the manager there about Laura, her abilities, her barriers and some reasonable adjustments which might need to be made.

The restaurant manager was exceptionally understanding and invited Laura in for an interview. With Becky on hand to give extra support, Laura impressed again and was offered her first ever paid job.

It was apparent that the hours advertised may be too much for Laura. Becky discussed this further with the employer, and it was agreed that the hours could be reduced. The reduction would still support the business, but also allow the time working to be of good quality for Laura, and reduce the risk of fatigue, and becoming overwhelmed.

With Laura also needing support to get to work, we also took care of an Access to Work referral and in the interim provided funds to support with taxi costs.

Six months in, Laura has settled in extremely well with the employer reporting that she is "more confident and starting to come out of her shell. She does everything she is asked, is polite, friendly and engages well with the customers.”

Laura said: “It’s really good working with Fedcap. I am very supported. It’s really nice working at Tamar View Nurseries, the staff are really good and I have made friends.”

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