Hayley has been working in the The Pantry Café in Medway throughout the summer, as part of a bemix Supported Internship. At the beginning of her placement, Hayley learned how to clean the dishes and utensils and how to clean the tables in the café. After that, Hayley felt more confident to learn about interacting with customers. This included working on the till, taking plates to customers and learning more about what The Pantry can offer people who visit.

Summer is an exciting time for The Pantry. The café is located within historic Fort Amherst and people who come to visit the attraction can come for refreshments inside The Pantry. Working in a café can be different each day - you never know how busy it will get, especially in the summer! During her time at The Pantry, Hayley has worked on some very busy days. Hayley has a great relationship with her co-workers and they have supported each other when working at busy times. As part of Hayley’s role, she helps ensure that visitors are happy with their orders.  Working as part of a busy team and having interactions with customers means Hayley has become more confident in the workplace.

“It's going really well, I like doing a bit of everything, and everyone working with me is really nice.” - Hayley

“Hayley is working really well. She's settled into the team effortlessly and keeps up with all the tasks. She does extra work without needing to be asked, and knows how to take the initiative in different situations. She's also getting on very well with the staff, and feels like a valued part of the team.” Anita, Manager at The Pantry.

Hayley busy at work in the kitchen at The Pantry

"At the start of summer, Hayley’s jobs focused on cleaning utensils and equipment. Eventually, she’d grow into more roles that let her meet numerous customers, such as taking out orders or even getting to know them as they came in. Over time, Hayley learnt more about her roles at the café, and looked more confident. This became even more important as the Summer Holidays started, and families started visiting Fort Amhurst. The number of customers can change every day, depending on the weather or  number of visitors. Hayley worked hard to become used to these different days at the café, and would eventually become more used to these different atmospheres. At the end of the holidays, Hayley has continued to work on helping customers and working with others. She’s even started preparing small sides, and is ready to learn as much from the Pantry Cafe as possible." - Adam, Hayley's Work Coach from bemix

With the bemix Supported Employment programme, people with learning difficulties and/or autism can be seen, be heard and belong in the workplace. Organisations who have the vision to see the value in everyone, find loyal, dedicated and reliable employees through our internship programme. This is a mutually beneficial relationship. Young people grow their skills and independence, and organisations grow their business through our completely free service. Each day we work towards achieving Our Vision of living in a world where every person is valued as an individual, where people with learning difficulties and autism are fully and equally involved in all areas of society (Read our EPIC Values). Supported Employment is part of that work and the organisations we work with means that our Vision is shared more widely.

For more information about how your organisation can get involved in Supported Internships, click here.

Read more Good News Stories about Supported Employment, click here.