Supporting employment goals and dreams

By Luisa Bustos, 2 December 2019 , Comments

“I wanted to work at the movie theatre because I like watching movies on my iPad, talking to and helping people, and seeing what movies are playing. With Northcott’s support, I’m now completing work experience at the movies every Thursday morning.”

Twenty-year-old Christell has a mild intellectual disability and the rare condition, Desbuquois Syndrome type 2 (Micromelic Dwarfism. She has been a Northcott customer since she was a teenager, participating in our after-school program in Wagga Wagga. Since completing high school two years ago, Christell has accessed our Everyday Life Skills and Vocational Skills programs to build her confidence and develop skills to move out of home and find a job.

To assist Christell with her goal to get a job, our Vocational Skills team supported her to learn new skills such as how to handle money and how to use a computer for administrative tasks. Additionally, Northcott staff assisted Christell to write her resume and contact local businesses to seek work experience opportunities. Our staff accompanied Christell on visits to job agencies and local businesses, including the local movie theatre where she is completing work experience. The team also supported her to explore work experience options and job roles suited to her interests and abilities. Although she was initially interested in child care, when Christell decided she wanted to work in the cinema, our staff weren’t surprised.

“Because of her love of acting and pretending to be different characters from TV shows and movies, Christell decided that the movie theatre might be a fun place to work,” explains Melissa Swift, Northcott’s Centre Based Coordinator in Wagga Wagga.

Christell says it feels “pretty good” to have learnt new skills with Northcott, and to be completing work experience at the movies.

“I’m really enjoying the work experience. So far I’ve served lollies and ice creams, made popcorn, made popcorn boxes, made flyers and cleaned the movie theatres,” she says.

Having worked closely with Christell for a few years, Melissa is extremely proud of Christell’s work experience placement and her other recent achievement – to move into supported accommodation with Northcott.

“Christell recently moved out of home. This was a huge milestone for her. Christelle has some anxiety issues, but Northcott staff have worked hard to develop her independence to enable her to be able to live away from her family home,” Melissa says.

“Through the Vocational Skills program, we will continue to work with Christell to strengthening her skills to gain employment.”

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