Ann is a young woman with some communication difficulties: she sometimes finds it difficult to make herself understood which can be a very frustrating experience for her.
We had worked with Ann previously, when we helped her find a work placement while she was still attending Dorin Park School. When she approached us looking for a second placement, we were only too happy to help. One of our job coaches, Nicole, is able to communicate via Makaton, a sign language system that Ann finds useful to help her get her thoughts across. We teamed Ann and Nicole up for a placement at Barnardos in Chester. Ann loved it there, she and Nicole were able to communicate very effectively. By the end of her placement, Ann was so confident in her role there that Barnardos asked her to remain as a permanent volunteer.
We learnt a lot from this placement too: we realised what a useful tool Makaton is for our client group, and we have begun a program of Makaton training for our team.