Saundra is employed through Raising Your Game as a learning disability consultant. She works with the two Raising Your Game groups based in Hertfordshire.
Saundra and her key worker had been looking for employment opportunities for her when they spotted the Raising Your Game role.
Saundra says, "They were advertising and I applied. I went for the interview and they told me I got the role. It meant a lot to me really because I like helping people and supporting people as well. It also helps you to get out as well."
Saundra started the job in February 2010. This is Saundra's second paid job. She also works for Watford Mencap as a part-time cleaner through Mencap's WorkRight scheme.
Saundra went on a skills development course called Train the Trainer to help her learn how to interact with the different professionals she will meet in her new career. The training also really helped Saundra to understand how the group will receive referrals.
"On the first course they had different hats which you had to put on and then you had to do role play, these included teachers, support workers and a nurse. We had to act out what they did in their jobs, like teaching, supporting people or health matters. This gave me a better picture of how to work with the different groups."
It has built up my confidence. I feel really happy in this job, knowing that I am helping people. I love it, the whole socialising aspect of it too. Even when I am off work the group members tell me how their day has been.
Raising Your Game supports young people with a learning disability to gain skills and confidence to choose their future life paths and aim high in life.
By the end of year two the project will have trained up to 240 young people with a learning or communication disability so they can begin to take a lead role in running groups. The project also ensures the young people are better informed about how they can make change happen and empowers them to reach their goals.
"When we are setting up the groups we do assessments. We go over to the young people's houses, their colleges or their day services and get to know them in a one-to-one meeting before they join the groups. It helps them feel more comfortable."
Speaking about the Watford groups, Saundra says, "I think it will help the young people in the groups feel more confident to go on to find work or study and achieve what they want in life."
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