Learning Disability Week is organised by the learning disability charity Mencap. It aims to improve the quality of life for people with learning disabilities, by raising awareness about important issues and fighting stigma and discrimination.
To mark the week we spoke to Maeve, who works with us at one of our sites, and some of her team members, about her work and the support she receives from Unity Works and her team members.
Unity Works is a specialist organisation supporting people with a learning disability to gain skills, achieve qualifications and secure jobs, so they can reach their full potential.
They work with employers to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces, to support them to become accredited Disability Confident employers, and to promote the business case for employing people with a learning disability.
We were looking for a General Assistant for the Front of House of our Restaurant. The Social Enterprise and Apprentice Support person helped us to find the candidates. From 3 candidates that come for an interview, Maeve was successfully and we were delighted to offer her the job.
Before Maeve started with us Unity Work arranged an Awareness Training around disability. The training gave the team a better understanding of working with people who have learning difficulties and/or are on the spectrum. When Maeve started she completed an “on-boarding” process session to ensure she was comfortable and felt supported. We “buddy” Maeve with one of our team members and Agnieszka, Restaurant Assistant Manager created a folder with pictures and step-by-step tasks for Maeve, her parents have been a wonderful support, they provided us with a list of tasks Maeve is and isn’t able to do.
We have regular catch ups with Maeve’s parents and Unity Works to help and support her on this journey. It’s a partnership. Providing Maeve with regular feedback is very important as this way she knows what she needs to improve and where she is being an absolute star. Maeve is an amazing human being, she comes in every morning and greets everyone, with a big “GOOD MORNING”, after a few weeks she will say good morning, and include the name of the person. She is such a “bubbly” person, always happy and full of positivity. And when she struggles to do something she always replies with “I know I can do it”, she never gives up. I love her spirit.
Our goal is to help Maeve become an independent person in all aspects of her job. Maeve’s energy means she loves to chat and engage and is a great addition to the team. Maeve has also taught us all so much.
My name is Maeve and I work as General Assistant in the front of house team at BM. This is my first permanent job since completing my NVQ Level 2 Hospitality and Catering apprenticeship. I started my job in March and I am really enjoying it. I am part of a great team with Claudia as my manager and Emily and Aga are my work buddies. The whole team has made me feel really welcome and I love coming to work each day. I’ve had a good induction and the team have been very patient and supportive in teaching me how to do the job and helping me develop my skills. I think BM is an excellent company to work for and everyone has really supported me as a person with a learning disability. One of the things I like best about my job is serving the customers and working as part of a great team. I would like to say a big thank you to Michael who works with Unity Works, where I did my apprenticeship, and who give me the introduction to work with BM. BM feels like a family and I am very happy to be here.
Maeve’s Support Team
“Being Maeve’s line manager has given me the opportunity to learn and has made me aware of how important it is to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. She make me a better human being… I realise, we shouldn’t allow a limitation or a disability to be an obstacle in our lives. It’s been a magical journey! A journey with a learning process… full of positivity, patience, perseverance, understanding for us both.”
“Maeve is a very lively, bubbly and happy person who is not afraid to try and learn new things. She always has a positive approach and never complaints. It is a joy to see Maeve thriving in our team and learning new skills which will help her not only in her job but also in her life. This is very rewarding. She shows us determination and strength on a daily basis. Her approach to each task – ‘’ I can do it’’… shows that she is willing to learn and try regardless of any limitations. Our team and myself learn from her everyday as she learns from us.”
You can learn more about working with the #bmFamily💜💚 here