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Posted on Aug 8 2023 by Fiona Bailey

A Workbridge Learner has been praised his “hard work and dedication” to a brand new work experience opportunity he was offered.

Dan, who is from Northampton and been attending Workbridge learning sessions for 10 years, has been working in an Earls Barton café for the last 12 weeks.

The 48-year-old said: “I have been working at Whites Farm Shop and Café where I serve food, clean the tables, take food out to customers, make coffee, use the till and take card payments.

“I have really enjoyed my time there and it’s been really good to gain some more experience. They have made me feel welcome and part of the team.”

Workbridge is a vocational education service, which has been developed to support people living with a mental health need, autism, learning need or brain injury.

The aim is to give those who attend valued life, vocational, and employment skills through a mixture of vocational and skills-led sessions, and work experience. 

The Workbridge learning sessions are delivered within one of five Vocational Hubs which are Creative Arts and Innovation, Horticulture and the Natural Environment, Design Technology and Engineering, Food and Health and Business and Administration. 

This opportunity was set up by the Food and Health Hub, which reached out to Whites to see if they might consider taking on a Learner. Dan does a two-hour shift every week and he is driven over there and picked up by a member of the Workbridge Education team.

Helene Cotter, a Workbridge Vocational Education Lead, said: “Whites is all Dan has talked about since he started. He’s done extremely well and got a lot out of the experience. It’s boosted his confidence and he’s thriving. He’s also got on very well with some of the customers who are very friendly towards him.

“Whites has been amazing too in its continued support of Dan. They’ve been really patient and welcoming. Not only that, but they’ve also agreed to take some more of our Learners too, which is great for all involved.”