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After finishing school, Jordan moved with his family from Essex to Newport to be closer to extended family. Newport was entirely new to him – he didn’t know anyone in the area, nor did he know the public transport system or local amenities. After living in Newport for about a year, Jordan decided that he wanted to find work. Engage to Change has supported Jordan since then, and in January 2017 Jordan started work in a community centre in Newport called the Share Centre.

Jordan works for eight hours over two days per week, and his main tasks are to open up the centre in the morning and prepare refreshments for students/visitors to the centre. He also has various administration tasks, including updating the diary with any room bookings, and dealing with invoicing.

At the beginning of the placement, I supported Jordan to complete work tasks. He needed assistance to remember which order to do tasks in, and to remember certain details of the tasks set. He needed a lot of support to interact with other members of staff in the workplace, as he was initially very shy. After a few weeks of job coaching, new tasks such as invoicing and filing were added, which required extended job training.

Jordan says that his favourite part of the job is the invoicing as it is something which he feels he has ownership of, as well as being a transferable skill that is of great benefit to the Share Centre. As other members of Jordan’s family do jobs that involve invoicing, he feels that it gives him something in common with them work-wise. Jordan feels that this placement has taught him to have confidence in his own abilities, to communicate with various people comfortably, and to use SAGE and handle the invoicing process.

Jordan gets on very well with the staff of the Share Centre, Andrew and Cath, and with the trustees of the organisation when he sees them. Initially, Jordan was very shy and didn’t enjoy interacting with visitors to the centre. After working there for a few months, he now says that he feels far more confident and is able to interact with visitors to the centre well. He is able to answer most questions put to him, and is comfortable to seek assistance should he need it. Cath has said that she sees Jordan as part of the team, and that the increase in his confidence is plain to see.

Jordan is a keen fan of rock music, and visits cities around the UK to see his favourite bands. While I was supporting him in the Share Centre, he booked leave (using the correct procedure I’ll add) to visit London to see Black Sabbath. Jordan also participates in a drama group one evening per week.

Jordan’s family are delighted with the progress he has made. They’ve noted that Jordan is more confident in himself, and in day-to-day tasks like going shopping and catching the bus. They’ve noticed that whereas he would never previously have initiated a conversation, he is now approaching others and starting conversations of his own accord. Since starting his work with the Engage to Change project, Jordan has also stopped exhibiting signs of depression. His stress levels have also greatly diminished, if not disappeared.

Jordan would like to continue developing his skills and confidence. He has recently started to drive again, which shows how confident he has become not only with social interaction, but with navigating the area in which he lives. Jordan is soon to take part in a production with his drama group, by whom he has been given a position of responsibility. In time, Jordan would like to look for full-time work.

Story from our partners at ELITE Supported Employment.