My name is Anna I attended Park View School in Lisburn were I completed a number of qualifications including Customer Care, ICT and Mathematics for Life.
I finished Park View in 2013 and decided I would like to attend the Job Club course in Lisburn SERC which is a two year course that supports individuals to work towards a City and Guilds qualification in Employability and Personal Development. I began this course in September 2013 and it was at this point that I started on the Mencap EmployAbility programme.
Mencap supported me to gain a work experience placement to run alongside the Job club course to give me real-life experience in a work setting. My Employment Officer supported me to gain a work experience placement in Menary’s in Bow Street Mall as I wanted to pursue a career in retail. I remained in Menary’s working as a Customer Assistant during my time at the Job Club. I feel I became a valued member of the Ladies Department Team and learned a lot of new skills.
When I finished my college course I was determined to gain paid work in the retail industry. To do this I had to gain further work experience and develop my skills in CV writing and completing job applications. Mencap supported me to develop job searching skills, writing and updating my CV, completing job application forms and supporting me at Job Fares. The Mencap Employment Officer also supported me to gain a new exciting work experience placement in Boots at Bow Street in Lisburn.
I began this work experience placement in November 2015 and just went from strength to strength developing my customer service skills, working as a team member, learning health safety in the store as well as working in deliveries and replenishing stock on the shelves.
My positive attitude, determination and drive to gain paid work impressed my managers in Boots and they saw that I could bring important skills and qualities to the Boots team. I was offered paid hours in Boots as a result and started as a Customer Assistant in June 2016. I hope to continue to work at Boots and increase my hours in the future. My Employment Officer also support’s me to continue to increase my skill set by providing on-the-job coaching to support me to learn new skills to ensure I can work to the best of my ability and continue to improve in my job.
Find out how we're helping improve employment opportunities for people in Northern Ireland with a learning disability - and how you can support us too
Hear from Anna
''When I first tried on my uniform I was really happy and proud that Boots gave me this opportunity to work for them."
"Boots staff are very friendly and welcoming people, they are always there to help if I need it. The best part of my job is that I get to go to work each day and enjoy it and not many people can say that."
"My independence and confidence has improved so much since I got my job at Boots.''