Mark was one of the first participants on the WALKways Tallaght University Hospital program. He absolutely loved being on the program and kindly agreed to tell us about his time in Tallaght University Hospital.
Before starting on the WALKways program Mark was employed in a local grocery shop, but he felt like he wanted to try something different, as he wasn't sure about his own career path yet. Mark’s keyworker told him about the program and he liked idea of it. The Walkways program seemed perfect option for him.
He says, "I applied for the WALKways TUH program. I attended for an interview and I was successful! I just wanted to give it a go and try something new… I was very nervous before I started, I didn't know what to expect. I also wasn't sure if the hospital environment would suit me".
For his first rotation Mark worked in Facilities, where he was responsible for cleaning and maintaining almost 100 hand gel dispensers in the hospital every day as well as other duties in the wash room.
Mark met many people through this job and he absolutely loved that. "I liked having the chat with people and I also realised how much I loved the hospital environment. It was different to what I had expected, and the staff are happy here and so nice!"
Mark felt like his confidence increased after his first rotation and was less nervous before his second rotation in Materials Supplies. Mark explains that by moving into his second department he had lot of new responsibilities, he learned a lot and also realised his own potential. There were new tasks that he wanted to master, and with time and support from the team in his department, he absolutely mastered every task he did!
"I realised how much I loved work in the warehouse. I must say, I was a bit sad when I had to move to my last department for the final rotation"
The last department Mark worked in was the Canteen where he got to work in a totally new environment. He was responsible for filling the breakfast trollies for the wards, maintaining the front of house, and also food preparation. Mark found work in catering environment a bit difficult.
"I like all people I worked with and my confidence definitely grew, but I felt this type work was just too difficult for me. This experience made me realised work in the canteen just isn't for me. I learned that it is ok if some types of work do not suit me."
At the end of WALKways program, Mark felt his communications skills were stronger, his confidence grew, and he gained lots of new and different experiences. Mark also thought the program helped him learn to manage his emotions and reactions to some difficult situations in a variety of work environments.
"I honestly feel like my coping systems are much stronger and better"
"I also made a new friend who works in the canteen."
After Mark completed the WALKways program, Mark received good news from one of the WALKways job coaches who told him that he had been offered a paid position in Materials Supplies.
"I was over a moon. It was my favorite department!"
Mark started work in Materials Supplies from September 2018. After his first 6 month contract, Mark was offered another 6 month contract. Mark feels like this is his dream job. He loves his team and his manager and he is getting along great with everybody at work.
Mark said his manager is very supportive and Mark knows he can always talk to Manager about any worries he might have at work, but also likes to talk about all positive the things too.
"I love coming to work every day and I am never late."
At the time of writing this article, Mark continues to work in Materials Supplies.