Callum's dream finds him working in a castle

Callum age 22 from Amble joined Kennedy Scott’s DWP/European Social Funded Specialist Employment Support programme in July 2016. Callum has Asperger’s and was struggling with his confidence and self-esteem. Callum has also had no previous employment.

Callum was assigned to a dedicated Caseworker Mark Turnbull who utilised the Circle of Support Model, often working not just in tandem with Callum but also with his family and the leader of his community support group. All these in worked together to assist in Cullum’s development. Mark also engaged National Careers Service advisors who supported Callum to explore options available to him and to try and broaden his horizons and skills.

Callum said “Mark gave me all the help he could give me especially considering what I was going through at the time”.

Mark assisted Callum with personal development and increasing work readiness through a number of different activities including intensive support exploring job goals, exploring the local job markets and arranging for specific and relevant training courses.

Mark said “During my time with Callum he expressed how passionate he was about working in a castle as he had a huge interest in history. He said this was his only desire for a job goal”.

Callum said “Mark really helped me look in all the surrounding area to see if we could me the job I’ve always wanted. We initially looked at Bamburgh Castle, but it was too far out of my area”

Knowing Callum’s wish to work in a castle, Mark supported Callum to apply for a position as a Food and Beverage Assistant at the world-famous Alnwick Castle. Mark said “customers are more likely to be successful and sustain employment if they are somewhere they want to be and therefore this role seemed perfect for Callum due to him being deeply passionate about history and his wish to work in a castle”.

Callum said “I ultimately wanted to work doing the tours and being involved in the history not just the historical surroundings but I knew this was a chance to get in, and hopefully progress”

Intensive 1-2-1 interview preparation was put in place for Callum and when it came down to the actual interview his Kennedy Scott Employer Account Manager Paula attended alongside him to provide further support. Callum excelled in his interview putting everything into practice that he had learnt and impressed the interviewer with his detailed knowledge of the Percy Family, who held the seat at Alnwick Castle, resulting in him being offered a position. Paula said “Callum never having worked before means this was his first ever paid job; a great achievement for him!”

Callum said “When I got the job I was really apprehensive, but I thought I would just keep my head down and work hard”

Callum attended three weeks of intensive training at Alnwick Castle, where he learned what was expected of him throughout the eight different stations involved in his varied role. Mark said about his training “Callum was mature enough to ask for additional help where he required it and this was afforded to him.” Mark worked alongside him on a one to one basis outside of work, ensuring that bespoke advice was provided to Callum and his employer about managing his health condition in the workplace.

Callum said “Being able to call on Mark and the people surrounding me when I need it helped me a lot”

Mark continued to support Callum once in work and set up a schedule of contact not just with Callum but with his employer. Interventions had to be put in place during the initial months to keep Callum on track with his role but overall Callum now feels he is doing a great job.

Callum said “I was very much in my shell for the first half of the season, but by the second season by confidence had grown enough for me to come out of it”

The employer has been so impressed with Callum’s ability to learn and pick up the work, along with his work ethic; they have offered him additional work next season and the chance to be involved in history tours – which is Callum’s dream job! Mark said “Callum has sustained six months employment at Alnwick Castle and I think he has great prospects there for the future”.