Key worker success

Glastonbury’s busy ambulance station has welcomed a new member to its team.

Ryan Chapman, 33, has achieved his first job and is proud to be a key worker responsible for keeping the ambulance station clean and tidy for its busy staff.

He received help and support from his adviser, Melanie Horsfield, from the award-winning supported employment team which helps people with learning disabilities and autism to find paid work.

Melanie said: “I met Ryan at the Beckery Day Centre in Glastonbury. He was taking part in our employability training – Stepping Stones – and he told me he had always liked the idea of working. At the time he did gardening for the Beckery, so I built on this experience and set up work placements for him with local retailers so he could gain more experience. Then lockdown happened, but we didn’t give up; we spotted the cleaning job at the ambulance centre and I had a chat with the employer. They gave Ryan a month’s paid work trial before offering him a permanent role.”

Ryan has now been working with the ambulance service for more than a month and is settling in well.

Melanie continues: “He absolutely loves his job and he is proud to be classed as a key worker. The ambulance staff are lovely with him and he is such a nice smiley chap that you have really warmed to. He has told me that he is so proud to belong somewhere and not just be Ryan who attends a support service, I am so proud of him.”

If you are an employer and would like to offer an opportunity to someone with a learning disability and or autism, please contact employment manager Alexandra Seddon, on 07908633773 or email alexandra.seddon@discovery-uk.org