Lynsey: A success story


WorkFit North East has recently been working with the Marriott Hotel MetroCentre to offer a 12-week work experience placement to our candidate, Lynsey.

Lynsey began her placement in July as a Kitchen Assistant and works 10 hours a week over 2 shifts. She is now working as a Breakfast Assistant, which includes working on events and functions. Within her role, she has worked closely with Executive Head Chef Chris Wells and his Sous Chef, Marion Stokoe.

Chris was delighted to have Lynsey join the team:

“Lynsey is outstanding, what a young lady! I am so impressed and this is just after one shift. She shadowed me for the day and it was a very busy time with lots for me to achieve. Lynsey was patient, willing, very polite and integrated easily into our team.”

Hotel staff have shown great enthusiasm for the WorkFit programme and twenty members of staff attended the WorkFit training to find out about how to support someone with Down’s syndrome in the workplace. Feedback from the training was extremely positive;

“I feel equipped to work with someone with Down’s syndrome.” “Made me realise the importance of programmes like WorkFit.”

Lynsey has shown great skills in making and serving desserts and Chef Chris is delighted to have Lynsey helping the team. On one of her shifts, Lynsey plated up over 200 main meals and desserts ready for a special event later in the afternoon.

Director of Human Resources, Amy Parkin has been working with the WorkFit North EDO and colleagues at Marriott Hotels and Resorts to develop the opportunity for Lynsey. Amy says:

“Diversity and inclusion are closely tied to our core values and our strategic business goals, so they are embedded into every facet of our business.”

Chef Chris explained that he and his team had never worked with someone with a disability in the kitchen;

“Lynsey has been mixing with staff, guests, front of house teams and managers. Customers have made a great connection with Lynsey and often chat to her.”

“As her line manager, I am thrilled with how Lynsey has picked things up so quickly. Members of the team feel very comfortable with her and everyone has been personally touched by being able to be part of the WorkFit programme. People with Down’s syndrome can have a very positive impact in any workplace and ultimately we want Lynsey to have the skills and experience to gain permanent paid work.”

Other staff at the hotel have been hugely supportive of the WorkFit programme including Director of Sales, Lesley Johnston:

“We’ve had lots of good feedback about Lynsey. The WorkFit programme is amazing and a lot of the team have been through the training, myself included – it’s been really great for the hotel.”

Lynsey is thrilled to be working at the hotel and it has given her some excellent experience;

“I feel very happy and proud of myself. I like working as part of a team with the Head Chef. I feel excited about working here. I’ve learnt new skills and I want to get a paid job.”