Jemma: A success story


Jemma is a 23 year old young lady from Hull who has a mild learning difficulty. Jemma has been known to Mencap for three years through Talent Match Humber and has undertaken supportive employment courses to increase self-confidence, raise self-esteem and identify work based skills. Jemma is also a member of PADD (People’s Awareness of Disability Discrimination).

Jemma is extremely motivated and eager to gain employment so much that she has volunteered at the British Heart Foundation Electrical & Furniture store for the past two years. This has been extremely beneficial to Jemma as it has taught her to become confident around customer service where she excels in welcoming people into the store. She is learning more about retail and skills needed such as operating the till, handling money and organising deliveries for customers over the phone.

Jemma is not only one of the founder members of Talent Match’s PADD group but is also a very proactive member. Jemma has had the opportunity to travel to London, Leicester and Sheffield to promote PADD and highlight what the group want to achieve.

Jemma has also been the main speaker at various events including the This Ability event in October were she confidently spoke about her journey to an audience of over 100 people. She has been an integral part in bringing PADD’s awareness to the public by holding pop up information stalls in Hull’s shopping centres.

Speaking at the This Ability event paid off as she was approached by Judy and Marie, the managers of the NHS dental practice within the city centre and was asked if she would like a work placement with them. Jemma was conscious that this was not a retail position however she accepted the challenge straight away. Jemma started her placement with the NHS Dental Practice after the New Year, working one day per week. Part of her role is to clean the dental instruments and ensure that they are put away in the correct surgery.

As a reasonable adjustment and because there is a lot of information to remember, the practice have colour-coded all instruments to help Jemma remember where they go. She also has a mentor in the work place to support her whenever she needs it. Emma is very happy with the way things are going and the reasonable adjustments that have been made which have helped her to get on with her role and secure paid employment with the dental practice.