Niamh’s Story

I like working, it’s much better than the classroom. If I wasn’t doing this, I would be doing nothing, just sitting at home every day on my computer.

Niamh is a creative and energetic young woman whose aspiration was to work with children. Unfortunately, whilst in her teens, Niamh’s had picked up some bad habits and was struggling in social and professional settings.

She joined Ellingham’s Supported Internship as she disliked the classroom-based learning environment, however she was willing to try out learning through doing in a hands on work environment.

Niamh was placed into two work placements where she was supported by her job coach throughout. One of them was within a gardening project run by Ellingham and the other placement was in a Sport Club as Leisure Centre Assistant where she has helped with preparation for community venues, children’s sport events and even helped with tailor made T-shirt design and printing which brought out her creative side of her. Both placements were very fast paced and hands-on roles which kept her focused on the tasks.

Like many of our young people, Niamh and her mother were very anxious about her travelling to work on her own. Therefore she was travel trained at first until she felt comfortable travelling by bus on her own. The ability to travel independently has had a massive positive impact on her and her family’s life.

Niamh was enthusiastic and found that she enjoyed working with people. Her managers and job coach were supportive of her and guided her through each task, taught her about acceptable behaviour at work and even helped her cut down on sugary drinks in favour of water which helped improve her focus and behaviour.

Niamh has come a long way since she has started her Supported Internship. She has pleasantly surprised us and herself about how much she actually enjoyed learning by doing in a real work environment and has said “I like working, it’s much better than the classroom. If I wasn’t doing this, I would be doing nothing, just sitting at home every day on my computer.”

Niamh has overcome many barriers and her attitude has matured, in fact she is an absolute pleasure to work with. Her creativity and passion were recognised by the management and was offered paid employment at the Ilford Sports Club where she continues to progress.

She is slowly getting more confident around school children and young people during school sport events and has made her first step towards a career working with children.