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It's work experience week

Martin and Chris at the CafeI don’t know if you know but from 9–15 November, it's Mencap’s Learning Disabilities Work Experience Week. The aims of the week are to provide people with a learning disability a taste of a real work environment, and to show employers, and the public too, the benefits of employing someone with a learning disability.

I'm Zoe. I work for Brandon in one of our employment training services, based in Bristol at Grimsbury Farm. Chris and Martin are two of the trainees here, both getting a taste of working life. I asked them about their experiences and this is what they said.

Martin: I really enjoy my work experience and the training I get. I wear a uniform and go to three different places; Grimsbury Farm, Park Café and Bitton Railway. They are all cafes and I learn about food hygiene and safety, food preparation, and customer service. It helps make me more independent and my dream job would be one that pays!

Chris: I like it; it gives me more confidence to talk to people. I used to get very nervous about talking to others, so it's brought confidence to my life. Not having confidence impacted my life; I used to get bullied and school kids would make fun of me. It knocked my confidence. My life went downhill.

Through work experience I've gained more confidence and work skills. I now know to ignore bad people and I'm better at dealing with these situations. My confidence has improved quite a bit. I'd like to help others who have a learning disability too, and help them with their confidence and getting on in the community. I also really like that I'm helping break down the perceptions of people with learning disabilities, showing everyone that we want to work and that we can work! We have something to offer too.

Zoe, Martin and Chris
Grimsbury Farm

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