Posted 01.07.2021

With support from three of our teams Caolan has increased working hours, got transferred to a store closer to home and is supported by Workable NI.

Leanne Mackle, one of our Training for Success (TfS) Employment and Training Officers supports and encourages young people every step of the way through their training, including Caolan Mitchell who was undergoing training at People 1st in Portadown. Whilst on TfS Caolan started working in Home Bargains in Portadown in October last year.

Whilst he was delighted to get the job in the Portadown store, Caolan was keen to move to the Banbridge store which was closer to home. The transfer wasn’t immediately possible and Caolan felt he needed some support in the workplace.  Caolan wasn’t working enough hours to avail of support from our Workable NI programme which helps to address work issues and difficulties, so Leanne referred Caolan to Colin McElroy our Job Match Supported Employment Officer in the area.

Colins says:

I met with Caolan and his mum and we spoke about how Caolan would feel if he got a transfer closer to home in the Banbridge store; Caolan and his mum agreed this would be a positive move for him.

Colin quickly engaged with his colleague Lynda Brown from the Workable NI team and they both met with Caolan’s Manager to discuss how they could support both Caolan and his manager. After a few weeks, Caolan had his hours increased and this was sustained over a very busy Christmas period.

In March this year, Caolan was transferred to Banbridge and has settled in really well with Lynda as Workable NI support.

Caolan said:

It was a brilliant feeling because I live in Banbridge which makes the travel a lot easier for me. I want to thank Disability Action for their help on pushing for a transfer. Only for them, I wouldn't have probably got the transfer as fast as I did.

Since transferring to Banbridge Caolan’s hours have increased from 8 hours to 15-20 hours which he is delighted with and it entitles him to support from Workable NI. He said:

The changes that I have experienced, are in all honesty, great! Management is friendly and well attentive to my needs. Staff are good to get on with and I feel right at home. The first few days in the different store (Banbridge) were tough to get used to as I was adjusting to the bigger surroundings but with the help of everyone working there, I seem to know where everything is.

Thanks to the Disability Action team - especially Lynda, Leanne and Colin plus whoever is responsible in the company. Really appreciative and thankful for your support. You really have made it easier to get me out in the workplace and to give me opportunities for my career.

Read more about Training Support Service - supporting TfS Trainees, Apprentices and Training providers

Read more about Job Match - helping disabled people to find paid work

Read more about Workable NI - supporting disabled people in the workplace