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Nathan had been disengaged for some time before we started working together. He had completed numerous work experience placements, but none of them provided the level of support he needed to succeed. Enter Engage to Change!

Nathan has now been working in Rabaiotti’s Café in Cwmbrân since the end of December 2016. Over time, his hours have increased so that he is now working for twelve hours over three days per week, and has expressed his desire to work more. His tasks include, but are not limited to, taking food out to customers, clearing tables and returning used crockery and cutlery to the kitchen and using the washing machines to wash used crockery and cutlery.

Nathan’s favourite part of the job by far is taking orders out to customers, and has had the opportunity to meet a variety of people in his job. He enjoys chatting with customers and making sure they’re enjoying themselves. There are some regular customers who Nathan knows by name, and he loves having the opportunity to interact with other members of staff and feel that he is part of a team. Nathan finds some parts of the job difficult, for example using the washing machine, but is always happy to see a job well done.

Nathan likes to watch films, go to the cinema, and spend time with his grandparents and other family. He was referred to us by his mother, who had found information about the project while it was still very young and attended an early event. She and the rest of his family are happy to see how much his confidence has increased since he’s been working in Rabaiotti’s. Before starting this project, Nathan was very shy, and was uncomfortable travelling by himself, but he is now able to catch the bus to and from work by himself.

Nathan feels that the main skills he has learned are how to deal with pressure and how to interact with customers. At the beginning of the placement, Nathan would feel quite stressed during busy times of day. Effort was therefore put into helping Nathan to develop his social skills and feel more comfortable moving around a very busy space. After working in the café for a few months, he now has developed ways to deal with pressure and is able to continue his work during the lunch rush. He also feels that his confidence has increased, meaning that he is able to deal with his nervousness when interacting with the public. Nathan was later supported to refine his timekeeping skills, and to operate certain pieces of machinery in the kitchen of the café.

Nathan really enjoys his workplace environment and loves talking to customers. He is very keen to continue to work in catering and to develop his skills, and in time is hoping to take on more hours.

Story from our partners at ELITE Supported Employment.