Before Josh joined Team Domenica, his parents were convinced that his autism, communication difficulties and anxiety would mean that his dream to work in the catering industry would never become a reality. With Team Domenica, he completed educational modules, which helped him to develop his communication skills, along with practical skills such as money-handling.
Our enrichment activities allowed him to gain confidence, develop social skills, build strong friendships! But it was putting his new skills into practise in Café Domenica that his passion for catering really shone through.
It’s tough to be alone. Team Domenica are always there for me. They give me the confidence to never give up and keep trying.
Based on his career aspirations, Team Domenica was able to match Josh to a supported internship with Jurys Inn (now Leonardo Hotels). Whilst it was obvious that he was capable and worked hard, Josh sometimes found the fast-paced, hectic hotel environment overwhelming and his autism meant that he struggled to multi-task. To overcome these hurdles, Josh’s job coach worked with him to manage his anxieties using his love of rules, and his role was adjusted to focus on tasks where his autism helped him to excel.
Team Domenica also provided training for Josh’s fellow workers to help them understand Josh and his needs.
Josh is a valued work colleague, but it is true that we sometimes don’t understand his behaviour. The training has been really helpful for our team and we now better understand Josh.
Less than a year from when he first stepped foot in the hotel, Josh was offered paid employment! Then just a few months later, Josh was nominated for the Most Outstanding Person Award at the Brighton and Hove Hotelier Awards – and he won!
When I won the award it made me jump up and scream with happiness.