My Career Journey – Gavin Kinnear:
Gavin had requested a move from his old day service to WALK’s day service for a few years. Gavin said that WALK would give him more opportunities to do things he wanted to do. Gavin had already been part of WALK’s residential services since 2002. In October 2020, Gavin made the transition to WALK’s day service. Gavin’s number one goal was to gain employment. He had various jobs previously but has been out of work for a few years.
In 2020 WALK was awarded funding from Rethink Ireland as part of their Ability to Work Fund 2020 -2023. In 2021, WALK’s Careers and Employment Programme engaged with Lidl to source employment pathways for people supported by WALK. Through advocacy from his local team of day and residential supports, Gavin was identified as someone who was likely a suitable match for such an employment programme.
At this point ‘Team Gavin’ sprung into action! ‘Team Gavin’ involves supports from day, residential and employment services. Gavin was supported to prepare for and attend an interview with Lidl in August. Gavin was successful at interview and began a 10-week probation period of employment with Lidl in September. Gavin worked for two days a week, for five hours a day. Gavin’s team (which now includes Lidl) helped him to prepare for starting employment by making sure he had the correct clothes, making a plan for what would happen on the mornings of work, who would be on site during work, what would happen after work and how we were going to know what was going well and not going well. Gavin did really well during probation and even surprised his support team by excelling at till training – something his team thought he may struggle with. Gavin’s probation ended in November, and he was rewarded with an initial 3 day / 12-hour per week contract. Gavin and Lidl are delighted. This would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of Gavin’s team from various areas of the organisation, the relationship developed with Lidl and Gavin’s determination.
You can read more about how Rethink Ireland’s Ability to Work fund and how it contributed to Gavin’s success here: https://www.newsgroup.ie/rethink-ireland-ability-to-work-fundBack to blog