One of the many businesses that Step Forward Tees Valley has welcomed on board to provide placements is Poundstretcher. The Hartlepool store, managed by Dan, has been providing placements for a number of participants over the last few months. The placements are extremely valuable to us.
One of our participants currently on placement is Alex. Alex has autism and so can sometimes find certain situations/tasks difficult. Currently, Alex is assisting Dan with deliveries, stock rotation, cleaning and general tidying. This is allowing him to develop specific retail skills such as date rotation and time management, as well as other general employment skills, which will prepare him for work in the future. Alex will also be able to utilise these time management and organisational skills by ensuring he is on time for shifts and is working on the correct tasks at the correct times. In this role, Alex will also be able to develop his social skills, as well as customer service skills, which will be valuable in multiple different roles in the future.
Hartlepool Store Manager Dan began working closing with one of our delivery partners, Changing Lives, in order to give back to the community. Having grown up with a brother who also has autism, Dan understands how best to help Alex and is therefore, alongside Employer Engagement Worker Avril, creating a safe environment for Alex to work in. This includes ensuring Alex is aware that he is able to step outside if he needs to, or that he is okay to have five minutes to himself. This kind of environment is crucial to participants as it allows them to feel as comfortable as possible in an unfamiliar workplace, and ultimately allows them to thrive within the role, hopefully leading to potential employment.
Both Avril and Dan are keen to gain placements in other Poundstretchers around the North East.