When Thomas started at Heathermount School as a student in 2002 there were numerous activities at the school that he disliked such as singing, dancing and yoga. Thomas said “I felt weird. I did find it difficult at times to join in the activities that were taking place in the class. I had been bullied before and this would often stop me from getting involved.”

After a year at Heathermount School, Thomas felt more adjusted and began to feel comfortable with his surroundings and those around him. “I liked helping others, such as serving the group at break time, and when I started middle school I started my catering curriculum. I started my journey to where I am now.”

Thomas excelled in his catering course and achieved a level 1 qualification as well as functional skills in English and Maths, and achieved an ICT level 2 award.

After Thomas graduated he was offered a catering apprenticeship at Heathermount. Thomas said “I took this as an opportunity to further my catering knowledge, complete additional catering courses to level 2 and learn more about the working environment.”

When Thomas completed his apprenticeship he visited the local job centre but they were unable to find suitable employment for him and suggested he take on further training. “I didn’t like this at all. They tried to give me further training and I wanted to avoid going there, so I then looked at the job seekers web sites with Angela at *Barra Hall*”.

Thomas has gone from a young student who barely uttered a word to anyone, to a wonderful colleague who is generous, thoughtful, surprisingly funny and a genuine pleasure to be around.
Julie Swann, Family Partnership, Heathermount School

An opportunity for employment in Heathermount’s catering team came about which Thomas applied for. “When I heard that a job was available at Heathermount I was thinking I needed to prove myself as a future employee at the interview. The application form had a few tricky questions, which meant I had to look up a few of the words. I did complete it and then I was offered an interview, I found the interview easier than I expected, as you never know what you are going to be asked. I did get the job I was very happy, so was my Dad.”

Thomas has been working at Heathermount for 14 months and has been leaning and achieving so much whilst in employment. To date he has learnt there are many types of pressures and deadlines with in the work place, using a variety of his abilities to ensure he manages them well. This includes time keeping, organising, self-awareness, food contamination knowledge and communication.

“Thomas is unique with his politeness and energy he brings to the job, which makes working with such an incredible person so enjoyable on a day to day basis.”

Tina Seddon, Chef / Coordinator Heathermount School

Former Heathermount School student, Thomas, is now an employee

*Barra Hall in Hillingdon, Greater London is alocation that Heathermount School uses for their outreach provision.