Building independence through employment

Written by Preparing for AdulthoodDate 07 Aug 2014

Zak moved to Derby in 2011, having grown up and been educated in Nottingham. He came to Transition2 to develop his self-management, vocational and independent travel skills in order to pursue his goal of securing employment.

Throughout his first year at T2, he was supported to learn how to travel home from college on 2 buses and, since returning to college to begin his second year, he is also now travelling from college to a long-term, sustainable work placement. Through a well-supported and very gradual process of travel training, Zak has gained the self-confidence, assurance and skills to complete these journeys independently.

As well as gaining the skills to make the journeys on public transport, throughout the learning process he has embedded multiple functional skills including literacy, numeracy, money-management and geography, as well as crucial aspects of self-management such as staying safe, looking after his personal belongings and learning to communicate using a mobile phone.

As part of his vocational learning, Zak secured a work placement at his local library through our collaboration with the vibrant Local Area Coordination team in Derby.

As well as developing his social and vocational skills he has also widened his social network and developed links with a couple of very supportive people through having his lunch at a café around the corner from his workplace.  Both the café and library staff have in effect become part of his circle of support and another means by which he can be known and also safer in his own community.  Zak’s Mum is delighted at the prospect of a couple of local people ‘watching out for him’ whilst he is out and about and she has been very supportive of him eating lunch out (within only a few minutes of his own home) in order to foster these important local relationships.

Not only has Zak become more confident with everyday activities, but even his social skills have increased.
These changes in how he engages with other people are evident in the home too and I am very appreciative for the work that everyone has put in. 

Zak’s Mum

In addition to this, Zak also works at a charity shop across the other side of the city.  While sorting a bag of donations at the charity shop he found a library book.  Having his Librarian head on, he was insistent that the book should be returned to the library so he researched the location of the library and returned the book himself!  From this link, he is now in the process of exploring an additional work placement at the other library.

Zak’s Work Experience Supervisor has recently nominated him for a volunteering award through Community Action Derby’s Shining Stars event, in recognition of his commitment and the skills he has developed through the new tasks he has taken on. 

He starts by shelving books for us and he regularly checks our drop box for returned items. Zak gets the tea and coffee ready for our coffee morning group and now joins in with their conversations. A member of the group has commented on how lovely it was to see Zak’s confidence grow. Zak’s social skills have improved, he is not afraid to ask for help and he will chat to customers of any age.

Catherine Mitchell, Alvaston Library