Leading Hampshire-based disability charity Enham Trust supports over 7,500 disabled and disadvantaged people across the country to live lives of choice, control and independence; providing housing, care, and employment & skills provisions to enable individuals to make the transition towards greater social and economic independence.
Listening to, and understanding the individual circumstances of, our beneficiaries is a vital component of our work; allowing us to develop plans that are both personal and relevant.
Our numerous training and employment programmes continue to help hundreds of clients take control of their lives and succeed in finding work. One such programme is Work Choice; a highly successful two year programme supporting disabled people into work, through our supported industries, to gain the qualifications and skills they need to secure sustained, unsupported employment elsewhere.
For Work Choice customer Sam, the programme has supported him to gain the confidence and skills he needed to secure sustained employment.
Here, he tells us all about it:
“I initially met with Claire, an Enham Trust Work Programme Advisor, at The Lights in Andover.
“Before this I had never worked, primarily due to health issues, so I felt really nervous about going to the meeting – it was a big step for me.
“Claire was great with me, and suggested I start by volunteering with the charity’s Gardening Services Team to give me some experience.
“I started this in late 2015, and volunteered for several months; working alongside the rest of the gardening team.
“After a while, I was offered the chance to apply for a job through Enham Trust’s Work Choice scheme as Assistant Gardener within the team, a role I never would have had the confidence to apply for, if I hadn’t have volunteered first – volunteering really boosted my confidence!
“I was so excited to be offered the job; it’s given me a reason to get up in the morning, and has given me structure to my day.
“I am supported during work by my Work Choice Advisor, Clare, who encourages me to attend regular meetings; helping me with formal applications such as working tax credit forms and the DBS check, and ensuring that any adjustments are made to enable me to remain in employment.
“On an average working day I assist the Gardening Supervisor in delivering garden services to local customers, which can include anything from grass cutting to clearing up and border maintenance. I also help load up the chipper.
“I always come in and do my best. I feel more experienced now, and able to apply for other gardening jobs; I’m ready to go into unsupported employment, and I want to carry on working in gardening.
“I now attend job club with my Advisor who is helping me learn the skills required for moving into unsupported work.”