Caleb serves up success at The Cafe in the Park

25-year-old Caleb from Hertfordshire, has secured a part-time job working at a local café, situated in a picturesque nature reserve in Rickmansworth.

Caleb, who has Asperger's, joined Kennedy Scott’s ESF funded Work Choice programme in June 2016, after being made redundant 8 months previous.

On joining Work Choice, Caleb had low confidence and struggled to maintain eye contact during conversation. His disability means he struggles with some aspects of social interaction and takes time to adjust and trust the people around him, something past employers have found difficult to understand. His Kennedy Scott Caseworker worked with him to build his confidence by giving him interview skills and practise and together they polished his CV.

With previous experience in hospitality, a Kennedy Scott Employer Account Manager contacted employer partner, The Cafe in the Park, a local eatery that has experience of hiring people with disabilities. They were looking to hire a new employee and in September, Caleb was offered an interview. After impressing the employer, two weeks later, Caleb was given a part-time position as a Front of House Assistant, responsible for meeting and greeting customers, serving food and replenishing stock.

Now five months into his position, Caleb said:

“In my role, I am well looked after and the team are very friendly. I was shy when I first started but speaking to customers has helped me. I’ve learnt how to communicate better and have made friends with my colleagues”.

His employer has been blown away by Caleb’s impressive customer service skills, something he would have struggled with six months ago.

Carly Trisk-Grove, Business Owner, The Cafe in the Park said:

“Caleb came to us with a great attitude, which made our job easy. We encouraged him to focus on the things he was good at and we demonstrated the value these added to our business.

"His friendly nature, his politeness and eagerness to please are brilliant traits for a customer service role. Everything we ask him to do he does with enthusiasm and energy, we couldn’t ask for more”.