Say hello to Brad! Brad is one of our Engage to Change participants in the Newport area of South Wales. After leaving education, Brad wanted to find employment but struggled to cope with his various disabilities. He was recommended to ELITE and met with our team out in East Wales.

Brad, from Llyswerry in Newport, showed promise early on demonstrating a willingness to work and a passion for physical tasks. His ADHD and Alcohol Fetal Syndrome diagnoses threw some barriers in his way to employment, however both Brad and the ELITE team were confident in Brad’s ability to complete tasks and duties. The barrier to overcome in Brad’s case was travelling and commuting. Brad had rather severe anxiety and confidence issues when it came to public transport, as Brad did not have access to a car or other means of transport, this limited his ability to find employment within a reasonable distance from his home. The ELITE team of Employment Advisors initially tried the usual methods of travel training on public bus routes, however, it was apparent that Brad’s difficulty around public transport would be a larger hurdle to overcome that originally anticipated. Adapting to Brad’s situation, the ELITE team began focusing his employment plan to employers within a close proximity to Brad’s home. Identifying Brad’s skill in low level mechanics (such as fixing pushbikes) and previous experience and passion in woodworking from school, one job opening came through that ticked all the boxes for Brad. Reseiclo, a previous ELITE employer, were looking for staff and Brad fitted the requirements.

The wood recycling centre based in Newport were looking for Recycling Operatives to help with the destruction and sorting of wood waste. Brad was keen on the opening and was eventually offered employment at the centre. The team began travel training methods prior to Brad’s start date. Making use of his bicycle, our Employment Advisor Molly began the process of route familiarisation so Brad could independently cycle from his home to work without any issue. Adapting to Brad’s difficulties around public transport, this method of travel training proved effective and even time saving with Brad’s cycling beating many public transport times! His 20 minute cycle proved far quicker than the 45 minute bus journey! When it comes to the job itself, Brad excelled from day one managing to sort and recycle wooden objects at a fast pace using the tools and equipment available at the recycling centre. With ELITE’s Employment Advisor Molly in the background, Molly had this to say on Brad’s rapid route to independent employment:

Brad is doing very well on his placement and I am amazing of how quick he has settled in! He can now travel to work independently in a variety of ways and is a valued member of the Reseiclo team. Brad has developed into a confident young man who gets to incorporate the skills he’s learnt through his hobbies into his working life. He is enjoying his new role and has gained vital work experience. 

Working at a recycling centre and cycling to and from work each day, Brad is certainly doing his bit to reduce his carbon footprint! Eco-lifestyle habits aside, ELITE and Reseiclo are thrilled with the progression Brad has made in such a short time-frame. Showing a good level of workmanship on the yard, Brad has started expanding on his duties joining Reseiclo’s van team picking up wood waste items around all of Newport. Adapting to a new work environment and becoming a valued team member, Brad has shown that with the right training and adaptions in place, he really has the ability to succeed in the working world.

Learning Disability Wales, our project partners on the Engage to Change project, had the chance to catch up with Brad with the cameras rolling! Check out the video below