- Millar's Story
- Hansel's View
We first met Millar through our Fairway Project which supported young people with learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders in the transition into adulthood. This project no longer exists as many elements of it have been absorbed into our 'mainstream' lifestyle supports. Young adults (and those a little longer in the tooth!) are creatively supported to develop the skills and confidence to make and maintain friendships, to develop social skills and a peer support network and so become less reliant on paid support. Millar still takes part in drama workshops which resulted from the Fairway Project.
Millar then linked with our Employment Services to explore his options for employment. It is hard to overestimate the importance of employment support to people living with learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorders. As Millar says in the video, people need support to understand what it means to have a job, what jobs might be suitable for them. And people need support in the application and interview processes. Many people will need some level of ongoing support even after they get a job. But with that support they have so much to gain and so much to offer.
Our laundry supported business, with a little funding from Work Choice (the DWP’s Disability Employment Support Programme) offered Millar an opportunity. Employment support, and Millar’s own determination, have allowed him to develop transferable employment skills and experience. Millar is one of five supported employees in Hansel's laundry who have achieved their Modern Apprenticeship and SVQ2 in Laundry Operations and is he a skilled and value member of the workforce. Miller has become a well known face throughout Hansel - he is a member of our Walking Group and, together with a colleague from the Laundry, is responsible for our on-line updates from the Festival of Living Planning Team.
We know there are many more individuals, just like Millar, living across Ayrshire who deserve this choice and a chance to work. We are committed to sustaining appropriate work environments, person centred support, accredited training and a salary which recognises the value of a person’s contribution in the workplace.
Millar may have been misunderstood at school but he is now valued for his unique talents in a paid job and for his meaningful contribution in a very productive and successful supported business. With the right opportunities, support from many people, personal determination and a lot of courage, he has grown into a confident and able young man. He is more in control of his own life, a positive role model for his peers, an active and equal citizen and is now ready to take his place in the world.