Hannah’s love of art leads to job at Ardent Gallery
Before being referred onto the Engage to Change project, Hannah attended the Glasshouse College based in Stourbridge in the West Midlands. The college comprises of an array of craft workshops, social enterprises and a performing arts centre for people with a wide range of learning difficulties. It was during her time at the college that she nurtured her love of arts and crafts and once the residential course had finished, Hannah decided this would be an area of work she would like to build on.
After meeting Hannah, we spoke about possible work opportunities but it was pretty clear that anything involving arts and craft would be ideal! After a few weeks for placement finding, a work trial was set up for Hannah at the Ardent Gallery in Brecon, not too far from her home. Hannah attended a meet and greet session and got on really well with owners Ian and Claire. From this a work trial was arranged for Hannah to work at the shop every Monday afternoon.
During her initial trial Hannah was a little shy, but after working with gallery owners Claire and Ian and shop assistant Gemma, she started to become more confident and to engage more with the customers who came into the shop. During her work trial Hannah also assisted with some basic framing duties and rearranging of wall art. At the end of the work trial Clare and Ian were able to offer Hannah a part time job where she would continue to work every Tuesday afternoon.
Hannah has been working at the gallery now for 5 months and since then she has become a lot more independent and now feels like a part of the team. Frequent customers to the gallery now take time out to speak to Hannah and this has made her more confident in engaging with people. She has also learnt how to complete a lot more tasks including how to use the coffee machine and also participates in the regular stock-taking of the various materials sold at the gallery.
Hannah said that one of her favourite parts of the job is speaking to customers about the different paintings they have on display and who their favourite artists are. She also likes rearranging all the new books that come into the gallery. Shop assistant Gemma has worked closely with Hannah over the last few months and has seen a massive improvement in Hannah’s confidence.
“Hannah has definitely grown in confidence in the short time she has been here. I’ve noticed how she now feels more at ease speaking to customers knowing that they also have a keen interest in art. She’s also willing to learn new tasks and is keen to build on her current knowledge of artwork.”
Story from our partners at ELITE Supported Employment.