A YOUNG woman with a learning disability has achieved her dream of getting work experience in retail.
Chloe Hellewell-Scothern, of Goldthorpe, said she is ‘thrilled’ to get eight weeks of experience at The Entertainer toy shop in the Alhambra Shopping Centre.
Chloe, 25, has a learning disability, and for some time has wanted to work but she did not have the confidence or support to achieve her goal.
Like a lot of people with a learning disability, Chloe used to spend most of her time at home, only leaving the house when it was necessary.
Chloe joined the Positive Futures Project, run by Mencap, a learning disability charity, in September 2018.
Throughout the 22-week project she became much more confident and found out about the world of work she started going out more and become more involved with the group and community on volunteering projects.
At the end of the project, Chloe then joined the Mencap’s ‘EmployMe’ scheme, and last Wednesday she started a work placement with The Entertainer, Mencap’s national partner.
Karl Wilson, employer engagement co-ordinator at Mencap, said: “The Entertainer has been really supportive and we would like to thank them for making us and Chloe feel so welcome.”
A spokeswoman at The Entertainer added: “We are working with Mencap to deliver supported internships across our national store estate.
"These provide people with an opportunity to gain valuable retail experience. This is particularly helpful for candidates where securing employment has been a challenge previously.
“Each placement will be organised depending on the additional needs of the person, so hours and length of the placement will be tailored to suit the individual.
“While in store the learner is supported by a buddy, this can be a member of the sales team or a manager who will guide them through their induction workbook, to help capture their experience and areas for development.
“Naturally, our aim is to convert these individual internships into paid employment, either with us, where opportunities allow, or with other employers.”