A Harrogate charity which helps young adults with disabilities gain valuable workplace experience has taken on an apprentice of its own.
Imogen Dickinson, who has spent the last 12 months at Disability Action Yorkshire’s Hornbeam Park headquarters as a trainee, will now spend the next year learning customer service skills.
The 21-year-old, from Menston – who will be working in the front office answering the phone, meeting and greeting visitors, booking appointments and making teas and coffees – will spend one a day week at Harrogate College, studying for a Level 2 Apprenticeship in customer service.
Disability Action Yorkshire chief executive Jackie Snape said: Imogen has really benefitted from being on one of our training programmes.
They are specially designed for disabled adults wishing to gain the skills and experience to help them into employment.
She has grown in confidence to such an extent that we have taken her on as an apprentice.
For many people visiting our Hornbeam Park offices, Imogen will be the first person they get to meet.
in addition to working on our reception, she will be going to college on day release, where she will study for a vocational qualification in customer service.
We have every confidence in Imogen and this apprenticeship will, we hope, ultimately lead to her gaining a full-time job.
Imogen said: I absolutely love it here, and am delighted to have been given this opportunity. I have learned a lot already and am looking forward to going to college one day a week.
Disability Action Yorkshire, which was founded in 1937, also owns a residential care home on Harrogate’s Claro Road for adults, aged between 18 and 65, with physical disabilities.
Last July, the organisation moved its Home Care team from a first floor office in Thirsk into a new, accessible building.
From here, the 30-strong team of home care assistants carry out a wide range of duties and services to people living in their homes in Thirsk, Northallerton, Bedale, Richmond, Easingwold and Ripon.
Main photograph: How May I help? Disability Action Yorkshire’s chief executive Jackie Snape (right) and new customer service apprentice, Imogen Dickins