It is the final month of the Supported Internships programme for this year's students. One of the students, Alex, has achieved above and beyond his goals for the course.

Alongside functional skills, group work and individual work coaching, each student undertakes a work placement as part of the Supported Internships programme.  Students are fully involved in finding their placement and the Supported Internship team takes the time to find appropriate employers and roles to suit individual aspirations and skills.

Alex has been working at Age UK in Gillingham since April.  He gives support to their clients, serves refreshments, helps with charity collections and offsite general maintenance. Despite only being with the organisation for a few weeks, Alex was presented with an award at the annual Volunteer Awards in June in recognition of his time and dedication. Alex's colleague Kim nominated him as she said "he has been brilliant".  When given his award he was told it was for "sheer grit, determination and hard work".  The team said that he'd come so far since that first day and they genuinely appreciate the way he always wants to help people and his great attitude.  

"Alex totally deserves the award and it is a pleasure to have him on the team." - Simon, Age UK Manager 

On Tuesday 5th June, Alex joined Supported Internships team members, Helena and Sharon, at the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) conference.  Alex attended the event so that he could chat to people at his table about being on the programme.  However, on the day, Alex decided he also wanted to co-present with Helena when speaking on stage about Supported Internships. 

Being able to adapt and respond to any situation is one of Head of Supported Employment, Helena's, many skills. After a quick chat about how they would deliver the presentation, Helena and Alex confidently and passionately spoke about the programme in front of 110 people.  Alex was confident and excited to be a part of the event, and keen to share his experiences. Alex showed great confidence when speaking publicly and conversed with people afterwards very professionally.  

"Alex was a great asset to our team today and demonstrated just what the programme has done to help him with his goals, particularly self-confidence." - Helena, Head of Supported Employment

"I am so much more confident and know I can do things now" - Alex