Hedleys Employability works across the region to develop employability opportunities for disabled people.
Thanks to the support of employers across the North East, Hedleys College currently has 46 students placed within companies to gain valuable work experience.
Adeel has been on placement at the Big Lottery Fund and has written this fantastic blog about his experience!
Over the past couple of months, Adeel has been undertaking a weekly placement with the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All team at St James’ Gate in Newcastle. Anyone who has seen Adeel around the office will have been fascinated by the very high-tech kit with which he communicates.
Here, Adeel explains a bit more about how it all works, who he is, and what he is gaining from spending time with the company.
“Hi, I am Adeel Ramzan and I am 21-years-old. I am currently doing a Business Admin course at Hedleys College, and at Newcastle College I’m studying a computer course (ECDL) and working towards a GCSE in English. I have cerebral palsy and I am a wheelchair user, but that does not define me – I am a normal, regular lad who likes socialising with friends, football, banter and GIRLS!
“I use a communication aid to help me talk. It works by infrared, so I need to wear a silver dot on my forehead so the signal bounces back and forward to the camera. I control the mouse on my communication aid by moving my head where needed. I can use a regular computer by connecting it to my communication aid via a USB Bluetooth cable.
On my work placement at The Big Lottery Fund my work includes archiving and sorting the post. I really enjoy my time here because the staff are so lovely and easy to get along with. I work closely with Jill Patterson; she makes sure I understand what I am doing every day and is there if I have any problems. Jill knows how I work and treats me like everyone else, which I appreciate very much. I love the way she has a joke with me sometimes, too.
I am hopeful that my time spent here at Big Lottery Fund will teach me new things and give me better understanding of the working world.”
Adeel’s placement has also been a valuable one for his mentor, Jill. She said: “I have learnt and gained as much from this experience as Adeel has. I have found Adeel to be really good company and very funny, but we have also managed to work as well. I have learnt about considering alternative methods of working and learning, and how small adjustments to workstations can have a big effect on abilities to work.”
Adeel’s funding manager at the Fund, Keith Moyle said: “We wanted to be sure we could provide a placement that both met Adeel’s expectations and offered him a real taste of the world of work.
“How we could provide a meaningful placement presented us with a real challenge, but we believed it was something we should do, and use as a learning opportunity for ourselves.
“The placement proved to be a great success, and it was soon extended until the end of the summer term.”
Adeel will be with us until the middle of July, and is going to write about his final reflections before he leaves.