Here is a recent story about the development of “H” and a number of the agencies who are successfully working together to help him.
Suffolk Wheels 2 Work (W2W)
Suffolk W2W recently presented a client, “H”, to Ipswich Rider Training who has been long term unemployed. Suffolk W2W is a transport scheme run by Community Action Suffolk providing scooter loans to those who have difficulty reachning work.
“H” has high level needs due to his placement on the autistic spectrum. “H” is being supported by Daniel via the Talent Match project in Ipswich which supports those aged 18 to 24, who have been out of work for over 12 months.
Ipswich Rider Training has developed its Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course delivery to make it accessible to all clients’ needs including various complex autistic traits, dyspraxia, depression, anxiety and dyslexia.
Being long term unemployed and living alone in a flat, “H” spends most of his time studying A-Z maps. He is able to locate locations in Ipswich and across the UK in any of the multiple maps piled in his flat from memory. Although he does occasionally travel on trains, “H” tends to walk to avoid public transport, especially buses. After many months of driving lessons his tutor declared that he was unable to see a time that “H” would be able to pass a driving test and that he was “simply taking money without being able to offer a positive outcome”.
This is not surprising, we have heard from people with autism that being sat in the close proximity of someone for extended intense periods of concentration is at best uncomfortable and can actually be distressing.
“H” was isolated, perceived as unemployable, without direction or ambition.
Talent Match identified “H” as a client in need of support. Upon meeting with “H” it was identified that he was motivated towards using his ability of knowing an arsenal of locations in the UK and also the ability to plan routes. This is when Talent Match contacted Suffolk W2W about partnership working.
The idea behind this collaborative working was to reduce the social isolation that “H” experiences on a daily basis and to make him mobile. Looking at this systematically we believed that if we could support “H” in obtaining a licence it would enrich his life in other aspects such as confidence, increase employability chances, reduce social isolation and increase his independence.
Ipswich Rider Training (IRT)
As soon as Suffolk W2W opened conversations with Ros (the owner) of IRT regarding the very specific training needs for “H” she offered a taster session of 1.5 hours without charge. This was to give “H” the opportunity to meet the trainers, see the locations and have a ride on a scooter in a safe environment. It also gave IRT the time to see if it was possible to develop the CBT training so that “H” could complete it. Daniel from Talent Match attended the session with “H”.
After the assessment session a comprehensive training program was drafted by IRT for “H”. It was put together in a modular way and broken over a period of time that allowed subject matter and safety lessons to be understood, restated and tested. Being modular it was adaptable and able to fit the changing needs that “H” could present:
- Session 1: 3 hours. Dealt with the equipment/clothing, bike controls/maintenance and beginning the off road riding.
- Session 2: 2 hours. Continued the off road riding. The instructor, Graham, thought it is important for “H” to be able to ride the bike instinctively before going onto the road.
- Session 3: 2 hours. On road theory (from a roadside perspective) and “H” taking some small steps into riding for himself on the road.
- Session 4: 2 hours. Completion of the road riding element.
“H” has now completed his Compulsory Basic Training. This in itself has given him a boost of confidence. In time he is looking to progress and pass his full bike licence. In the interim, Suffolk W2W will be providing him with a scooter to start his new found life. With his knowledge of the major and minor routes around Ipswich he is ideally suited to start working for any company that has logistical time scaled challenges. This may start with food deliveries for take away companies. We have spoken to the PR department of a national pizza delivery company regarding recruitment for people with autism such as “H” and they welcomed the idea warmly. We will take this conversation up locally with their network of franchisees.
Both Talent Match and Suffolk Wheels 2 Work will continue to work with “H”.