Meet Our Ambassadors: Elsa
Meet Elsa, George, Jordan and Jonathan – our new Engage to Change project ambassadors! Following an application and interview process, they were appointed in May 2018 and made their first appearances as ambassadors at our Annual Awards events in June. All four are participating or have participated in the Engage to Change project prior to becoming ambassadors. Here are their stories in their own words. We start with Elsa.
My name is Elsa Jones. I live at home in Mid Wales with my parents. I have two older siblings, three nephews, and one niece, so I enjoy spending time with them. I also volunteer in a charity shop called the Seven Hospice. I do two days a week and sometimes I may do an extra day. On the Engage to Change programme I am working in a tea room in the local village called The Buck Tea Rooms. I work on a Thursday and it involves serving the customers, washing up, cleaning and laying the tables, making drinks, and making sure the customers are happy. I enjoy socialising, visiting tourist attractions, and shopping. I am also involved with the town twinning. I like making cakes and going swimming and bowling, and I also like going to food events and craft events.
I have been asked to create a blog to tell the wonderful people about my journey.
In August 2017 I joined the Agoriad programme (Engage to Change) which has been very enjoyable. It’s about meeting people, having experience in a working environment and having independence. I have support from Bethan and also my job coach Angharad, and I am looking to achieve paid employment as well as voluntary work.
I had very exciting news that Bethan from Agoriad had sent me an e-mail about a job that is beside the programme, it is an ambassador’s role. I applied and there were four of us who got the job. The job involves training, speaking to schools and employers, and working at events where Engage to Change is involved.
On the programme the people who you meet are really friendly and you get to learn about their recent and past experiences.
On the 14th June I was at an event in Holywell in North Wales at a hotel. I travelled by train and for the second part of the journey I travelled with my job coach to the hotel. On the day, my job was presenting awards and listening to talks by employers, parents, and people who are on the programme. We also had really nice food and drinks provided.
On the 17th June was the next event at the Copthorne Hotel. My mum and I travelled to Cardiff and then arrived and had our meal at seven o’clock. A small group of us had the meal and sat and chatted, and after we finished we went and set up the room for the event. On the Tuesday my job was to be on the reception desk welcoming people and handing out very special chocolates. The chocolates were made and created by a family who decided to set up a business for their child who has autism. The business is called Harry Specter’s. The chocolates were in a little box and there were two chocolates, milk and white chocolate. The white chocolate has the Engage to Change logo printed on.
Throughout the day there were talks by employers, parents and people on the programme which was really interesting. I was involved with a workshop and we were listening to people having discussions and asking if they need help. I also presented awards. For lunch we were all seated in the restaurant and had our meal and drinks provided. After the event finished we had a lift back to the centre before it was time to leave to go to the train.
In North Wales I received an award for Young Person of the Year in recognition of my work and participation in the Engage to Change project.
It’s so nice to hear that people are working really well and enjoying the programme and learning new experiences.
It is encouraging to know that through the dedication of the team that employers are keen to take part in Engage to Change. Parents and young adults who attended said how much they gain from Engage to Change opening opportunities.