What is it like working with Talkback?
Working with Talkback has been great. We first became acquainted at a job fayre linked to the local college and quickly realised that we could support their organisation and in turn, they could support us. Talkback subsequently contacted Cherry Garth care home in summer 2020 seeking employment for Robert. Robert then joined the team in September 2020.
Talkback were excellent in helping to settle Robert into his new role. A staff member of the Talkback employability team, Ian Rowlands, came to the home during his first couple of weeks to check that he was getting on well and offered to provide support and guidance for Robert. Ian helped Robert complete various mandatory training modules online, which every new employee must do as part of their induction here at the Trust, which was really helpful for us.
How has Robert contributed to The Fremantle Trust/Cherry Garth whilst working?
Robert’s role is Household Assistant, Kitchen. He is one of three people who do this job and it’s a really important support role.
Having Robert as part of the team has helped us in a few ways. Firstly, his day to day role in the kitchen, which involves washing up, preparing vegetables and giving support to the chefs, has provided us with much needed manpower. Robert has a wonderful personality and added a fantastic dynamic to the team. As well as fulfilling a job role, having Robert has taught us so much about working with people with autism. This knowledge for us has been invaluable.
What have you learnt about people with a learning disability and autism in your working environment?
When we employed Robert, we made sure the team in the kitchen were provided with training to ensure they had an understanding about autism and most importantly, how to support and communicate with Robert. This learning and the experience of working with Robert has meant that as well as providing him with a set of skills and knowledge, the team have developed their own knowledge too.
They have learnt to adapt their communications skills; learnt to provide regular reassurance and guidance and ultimately broadened their minds about what it’s like to work alongside someone with autism.
Critically, it’s taught us all that Robert and others like him are able to contribute, work within a team and do a great job.
Do you think more companies and organisations should support or employ people with a learning disability and autism?
Yes, absolutely. It is important the organisation consider that the person will need some additional support and require extra time dedicated to helping them settle and learn, but these considerations and simple adjustments are well worth it when you know that you’re going to be providing someone with a wonderful opportunity. From first meeting Robert and helping him find his feet and settle into his job, to watching him flourish, it has been an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile experience and one which I’d highly recommend other organisations follow.
To find out more about The Fremantle Trust and the care they provide for people please visit: https://www.fremantletrust.org/
Find out more about our Employability opportunities: https://talkback-uk.com/our-services/employability/