Who we help For young people Young People's Stories Buddy's Story Buddy joined a Supported Internship programme to gain work experience and gain a customer service qualification needed to progress into employment. From day one he worked hard and went above and beyond expectations, both within the classroom environment and at the work placement. He quickly became a valuable addition to the team at the Mile End Leisure Centre - where his enthusiasm, passion and hard work did not go unnoticed for long before he was offered a role as a Kids Activity Instructor. Buddy’s success on his internship placement led to Ellingham negotiating a full time paid role for him as a Leisure Centre Assistant where he is continuing to progress. He is shortly due to undertake his lifeguarding test to top it all he recently received the GLL Pride Award and previously he has won The Mentor of the Year award at the GLL end of year awards, where he won a flat screen TV as a prize. Buddy’s centre manager commented: “Buddy has had a great journey at GLL, going from work experience student to colleague, mentor and a role model to new work experience students. Seeing him succeed has been the most rewarding experience. He is a true inspiration to all”. Timothy's Story Timothy engaged with Ellingham in order to undertake a 10 month Supported Internship programme for young people with special educational needs and/or learning disabilities. Based primarily at an employer, the programme is designed to equip participants with the skills they need for work through learning in a real workplace. Timothy has Asperger’s and so experienced difficulties around social interaction and found crowded places overwhelming. However, he immediately stood out from his group as he is extremely high functioning with above average intelligence and outstanding academic qualifications. Timothy’s Internship placement involved admin work within Finance and HR Departments. Realistically, we did not feel he was being sufficiently stretched in these roles, and Timothy was becoming disillusioned. However, Timothy agreed to complete the programme - partly because of the benefits to his confidence but more importantly because of the specialist support he would receive to plan and broker future employment at the end of the project. Timothy had applied for numerous jobs without success and was becoming downhearted. Thankfully, a contact we had made via our links to the business community informed us about an Investment Operations Apprentice position at T Rowe Price which seemed tailor made for Timothy. We were confident that Timothy had the qualifications, capabilities and personal qualities required for the role. However, due to his Asperger’s we knew the recruitment process had the potential to be very challenging for him. In this regard we were grateful to be able to fall back on the extremely thorough support and guidance we received from T Rowe’s CSR team who organised for us to run two neurodiversity workshops with members of T Rowe Price’s staff. This was invaluable in enabling us to adequately prepare and support Timothy through the demanding selection process. Thanks to the commitment from the team both here and at the employer Timothy has been successful in being selected for the apprenticeship role. Timothy has described this opportunity as “life changing”, and this experience has clearly demonstrates the huge value to Ellingham of working with corporate partners– in terms of opening doors and unearthing opportunities for our young people that would not present themselves to us ordinarily. We are extremely proud of what Timothy has achieved, and very grateful to T. Rowe Price for affording us the opportunity to promote his talents and abilities to such a prestigious employer.