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Great job Tom!

20 July 2022

“This job at Wetherspoon’s has changed my life. I’m more confident. Before I started, I wouldn’t have walked in the door on my own and now I’ve even had a go at serving customers. Work has helped me to build new skills and an awareness of what needs to be done.” Tom James from Carlton.

A young man with Autism and anxiety issues has received a huge confidence boost after getting a job at Wetherspoon’s.

24 year old Tom James, from Carlton, is enjoying greater independence thanks to his new role as a cleaner at the Trent Bridge Inn in West Bridgford.

Tom has been supported by the County Council’s i-work employment team, which helps people with learning disabilities and Autism into paid work. The team provides support with all aspects of employment including recruitment processes, applications, interviews, right to work documentation, travel training, initial job coaching and ongoing on-the-job support.

An Employment Inclusion Worker helped Tom create a CV and offered him tips on applying for jobs. When he got the interview at Wetherspoon’s she helped him practice for the interview. She also contacted Trent Bridge Inn to see if she could go along on the day of the interview to support Tom, due to his anxiety.

Vanessa Owen, from the i-work team, said: “Tom was delighted when he heard he’d got the job. The staff at Wetherspoon’s were very accommodating and were happy for me to go along to Tom’s induction and support him to learn the job. Over the weeks, he needed less prompting from me and I gradually withdrew my support. I now just keep in touch to see how work is going. Tom knows he can contact me for advice about work.

“Tom has done brilliantly. He’s always keen to improve and learn and his confidence has grown, which has helped him in his day to day life.”

Tom said: “This job at Wetherspoon’s has changed my life. I’m more confident. Before I started, I wouldn’t have walked in the door on my own and now I’ve even had a go at serving customers. Work has helped me to build new skills and an awareness of what needs to be done.

“‘i-work has been really supportive, helped me to learn routines and to adapt to new things. The support has been extremely helpful. Wetherspoons let i-work come in to support me when I started the job, which was vital for my confidence. They have been very understanding of my condition. I explained to a manager that I was a visual learner and that is how she taught me a new job, by showing me what to do.”

Councillor Matt Barney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “It’s great to hear how Tom has progressed, thanks to his hard work and the support of the i-work team. I’m also incredibly grateful to Wetherspoon's and other local businesses who can see the potential in the people who go through our supported employment scheme.

“Having paid employment is so important in boosting self-esteem by giving people an income and a purpose. It’s our aim to help everyone have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in Nottinghamshire.”

Gail Jones, Duty Manager at the Trent Bridge Inn, said: “Tom’s doing brilliantly, fantastically. He’s keen to learn more and is a pleasure to work with. Tom’s conscientious – you show him something once, maybe twice and he makes sure he does it. He’s part of the team – he’s happy, I’m happy!”

Find out more about employment support for adults with disabilities

ENDS

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