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John* was referred to the Work and Health Programme in July 2020, courtesy of his work coach at the Tewkesbury Jobcentre. He was seeking a sustainable, paid work opportunity.

Overcoming barriers

Despite being profoundly deaf, John, a lovely man with a gentle heart and a good soul, was absolutely determined to overcome the barrier of his hearing impairment and build a better life for himself and become an integral part of his local community in the process.

To his credit, John has always wanted to work, he manages his day-to-day life very well indeed and drives his own car.

John and his work coach Marcus quickly established a good rapport, communicating via Microsoft Teams on-line, with a video link and texting service, built on enablement and trust.

In order to provide the very best service for John, they secured the services of a BSL –(British Sign Language) interpreter via a contact at the Gloucestershire Deaf Association.

They were then able to have a really positive and productive meeting with John at the office. It was then that they really got to know him, understanding his disability, and establishing the support, education, employment and training opportunities that he needed.

Employment with a strong global brand

Having established a firm platform for John with fantastic support from our partners, Marcus set about seeking sustainable, paid work opportunities for John in his local area. They were successful in securing paid shift work with DHL –a global brand and market leader in the logistics industry, and so the team knew instinctively that John was in safe hands.

It was important to ensure that John had the right support package in place for work, namely a BSL interpreter on-site. For that, they needed to apply for the government funded Access to Work scheme. This provides support for those with a disability, mental or physical or both, in the workplace.

Working together for the perfect support

The team’s contact at the Gloucestershire Deaf Association knew John well and applied for the Access to Work scheme. Generally, this process can take between six and eight weeks to come to fruition and so Marcus and his team had to let the employer know this and keep them informed every step of the way, maintaining regular contact.

They were successful in John’s Access to Work application. Because they had built up a strong relationship with the employer, who were very supportive and understanding from the start, they were able to get John underway with his warehouse duties at DHL within work support provided.

A British Sign Language interpreter was able to work alongside John and help him to understand the health and safety legislation and working practices of the business and his duties, expectations, and job role.

Because of John’s dedication, diligence and patience, he has been able to maintain his paid job role, building his confidence in the process. He has a strong team behind him, willing him on every step of the way and we are delighted for him, his family and friends.

Well done John!

In partnership with Prospect Training Services. The Work and Health Programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund. *Participant’s name has been changed. Stock image used.

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