Pub promotes inclusive jobs
Steve Robert’s* local pub, the Cabbage Patch, has become more than a place to relax and enjoy a drink.
Working on the other side of the bar for the last three years has offered Steve, an autistic person who also has a learning disability, more independence, new skills and a wage.
After a week’s work experience in 2019, Steve 28, now works in the front of house service covering two lunchtimes a week. A valued member of the staff team, he says: “I love working at the Cabbage Patch. I feel more confident. I’ve talked to loads of people at [places like] museums to explain what autistic people need from employers.”
For many, living with a learning disability often means a lack of employment opportunities and the social connections that working life can bring. Steve and Cabbage Patch general manager, Stuart Green are challenging the dismal statistic that only 5.1% of adults with a learning disability in the UK are in paid employment.
Stuart is passionate about championing neurodiversity and says: “I’m super proud of Steve and his development. Watching his confidence grow proves that more employers need to look at a broader range of talent who often just need to be given an opportunity.”
Support with CV writing, preparing for interviews and sourcing jobs can be vital in helping people to find work. Employment Co-ordinator Jean Frampton, from Choice Support’s Richmond Employment Service, supported Steve to get work experience at the pub. Jean works with employers to match job-seekers to the right working environment. She says: “Many employers fear the unknown when really, it’s just about making small adjustments and having awareness of things like sensory overload.”
Earning our own money and being part of our community is important for everyone. Taking a person-centred approach to an individual’s needs means they can be supported at their own pace. For Steve, working in a comfortable setting with people he trusts has made the Cabbage Patch a “really special place for him," says his mother.
Organisations like the Richmond Employment Service and employers like Stuart show that living with a learning disability should not mean exclusion from fulfilling paid work that fosters connection. As Stuart says: “we want to see more Steve's in employment!”
*Not his real name.
Autistic people or anyone with a learning disability or mental health need can use the Richmond Employment Service as long as they are a resident of Richmond and Wandsworth. Please contact us here.