Congratulations on your contract Amber!

Meet Amber, a young lady who, due to an accident at 18 months of age, is blind in one eye and lives with an acquired brain injury.

Amber’s social worker referred her to Discovery’s supported employment team after she left college because, well, let her tell you herself:

“I was at college studying childcare, I finished with a merit, but I knew further study or working with children wasn’t for me. I wanted to start earning somewhere simple, like a warehouse, where I don’t have to deal with the public.”

Gina Pring (Discovery Supported Employment Officer) created a vocational profile with Amber to help her explore her dreams and aspirations, then identified potential employers before supporting Amber to apply for the jobs that were a good fit.

“My first job mucked me about, they never got back to me about where and when they needed me, but then I got a job at Clarks Factory, firstly through an agency, but after 13 weeks, Clarks offered me a 40 hour a week contract! I like that they are a family-focused company, my niece works there, siblings work together, husbands and wives too, a lot have worked here since it opened in 2000 – it’s like one big happy family. “

“I get my very own pair of very comfy Clarks shoes for work (that cost me £80 at the agency), a 30% discount on other shoes, and there’s a free gym, but I never go because I get my 10,000 steps in at work where I get paid to have a workout!”

“It’s 1:37 now. I have to go to work. I’ll be seeing you on the 13th at 1pm, Gina. Do you need me to remind you?” -Say’s Amber, as she gets up and leads us across a crazy busy road to Clarks, where we took this picture:

“She’s always so punctual – she never forgets, “That’s one of the reasons a lot of people cite for employing autistic people or people with a learning disability and whilst that’s true, I can give you countless others. People with a disability, are more likely to make a positive contribution to the work force,   because they have a desire to work.  They are ambitious, integral, honest, and loyal, they have untapped skills and talents to offer the workforce.”

Gina Pring – Supported Employment Officer for Discovery

What Amber’s dad has to say:

“Amber is a different girl these last three or four months. She has so much more confidence and is way more independent. Even in college, if Amber had to do something new, it would be a tough challenge. Now she thinks for herself and actively embraces the unknown. For example, Amber now visits places she’s never been on the train, and if she misses the last train, she works out how to get the bus back. The change is incredible.”

If you are someone like Amber or her dad who wants to get more from life, start here.
If you are someone like Gina who wants to help someone get more from life, start here.