Joel’s Happy Place is in the Garden

There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener”. For Myhorizon Employment and Training participant, Joel Speakman, he has found his happy place, working towards a career in horticulture and gardening.

26 year old Joel loves working outdoors, and joined Myhorizon’s Horticulture team doing work experience before gaining paid employment with Shedland Garden Nursery.

Michelle Robertson, owner of the Shedland Garden Nursery, employed Joel for 18 months right up until she closed down her business, and was impressed by his attention to detail and strong work ethic.

“Joel constantly performed well and soon became an integral and valued team member. He made a positive difference to our daily business operations every single day he was employed.” Said Michelle.

“As an employer, I found nothing was ever a problem for Joel. He was flexible and reliable, particularly when asked to do extra hours on a shift. Joel was always respectful and had a very polite nature”. Said Michelle.

Joel’s reliable and flexible work ethic, together with the right opportunity provided by employers such as Michelle, saw Joel recently move into a new paid job with Capalaba Nursery as a Nursery Assistant.

Joel’s Employment Coordinator, Jodie McIntosh, is passionate about matching the right employer with the right candidate, supporting Joel who has now started work with Capalaba Nursery only 2 days after finishing at Shedlands .

“It’s about opening new doors and opportunities to people who have so much to offer. The benefits work both ways, not only providing paid employment and new skills for our candidates, but also providing our local businesses and employers with recruits who bring a new energy, outlook, and work ethic”. Said Jodie.

For more information on Myhorizon’s Horticulture and Employment and Training services, Contact us.

Olivia on the path to greater independence

Gaining employment has been an empowering experience for local Cleveland resident, Olivia O’Donnell, who hasn’t let her intellectual disability stand in her way.

Thanks to flexible employers like Phaedra White who owns and runs Enhancers of Cleveland Hair Salon, 18 year old Olivia works regular weekly shifts where she helps keep the salon tidy and prepares some of the equipment needed by the stylists.

Since starting at the salon six weeks ago, Olivia now walks to work where she earns her own pay cheque each week, and is on the path to greater independence.

“I like working at the salon because I get to earn my own money and I can go to the shops and buy my own food or beanie boos’” says Olivia.

Olivia’s employer, Phaedra, initially approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Office in Cleveland, seeking someone to support her in her salon a few hours per week, and Olivia was quickly matched up as a perfect candidate.

“Olivia is very polite, friendly and caring, and we all love having her around” Says Phaedra. “I’ve also noticed positive changes in her confidence level, and her knowledge and skillset around the salon are also improving”.

Prue Saint, Olivia’s Employment Coordinator from Myhorizon Cleveland, has also seen a significant and positive difference in Olivia since starting her job at the salon.

“Olivia is becoming more confident with leaving home by herself now, and also improving in her communication with other people and being able to follow a list of jobs to be done. All those things are getting better each day.” Says Prue.

“It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Prue.

As a local Redlands business owner, Phaedra also advocates for more local businesses to open their doors and minds to employing individuals with a disability.

“It has been so rewarding and fulfilling to have Olivia join our team, and we really appreciate her different perspective on things.” Says Phaedra. “I urge more businesses to consider employing someone with a disability as it’s a great contribution to the community as well”.

Click here for more information on Myhorizon’s Employment and Training services or connect with us via our online Contact Form.

Employment proving life-changing for Wayne

Gaining a new job and sense of responsibility has been life changing for Wynnum resident, Wayne Vanderswaag thanks to a positive and flexible workplace in our community.

Wayne, a 33 year old with an intellectual disability, has experienced a hard life of homelessness and long-term unemployment, but recently turned his life around by securing regular employment with Capalaba Central Carvery almost four months ago.

 “My life was a mess and all over the shop. Every day I was going to the pub and getting drunk. My life was going around in circles and I knew I needed to get out of that lifestyle and get a job” Says Wayne.

Wayne approached Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Office in Wynnum seeking some support to find a job that suited his abilities and one where he could make a positive contribution to a workplace.

 “My Employment Coordinator at Myhorizon supported me to get a job with Capalaba Central Carvery where I do the washing up in the kitchen, and help out where I’m needed. I’m now learning to budget better with my own money and just trying to be strong each day and enjoy life again. One day I’d even love to have my own 24 hour restaurant, cooking good food for people” Says Wayne.

 Claire Pruskocki, Wayne’s Employment Coordinator from Myhorizon Wynnum, has seen a significant and positive difference in Wayne’s attitude since starting his job at the Carvery.

 “Wayne has become a really reliable employee. He catches a train and a bus every day to his regular shifts and always turns up early. I’ve seen a huge improvement in Wayne’s overall attitude and also his presentation, and he has a much greater sense of self-worth which is so great to see.” Says Claire.

 “It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Claire.

 “So many of our clients are so eager to have a job, and really hard-working. When we are able to match them up in a job that they enjoy, and are good at, there is no better feeling.”

Myhorizon are proud to be rated a 5 STAR service for our Disability Employment Services by the Australian Government Department of Jobs & Small Business.

Learn more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Services.

Local job opportunities for all abilities

Real job opportunities are proving life changing for individuals with a disability thanks to flexible and positive workplaces in our local community.

Southside Toyota Service Department Manager, Brett MacDonald (Mt Gravatt), employee Jason Cooper and Aisha Sellers from Myhorizon Employment & Training

Jason Cooper and Ashley Chase are two great examples of this, both clients of Myhorizon’s Employment and Training service, and both working for Southside Toyota’s Service Departments. Jason has been working with Southside Toyota Mt Gravatt for six months where he eagerly gets in and does any job that’s asked of him including cleaning, organising the work benches, and being an all-round handyman for the entire team.

“Before I got this job, I spent my days not doing too much. I feel like now my life has turned 180 degrees. I’m now very positive and would one day love to be an apprentice mechanic. I would jump at the chance”. Says Jason.

“My manager and the rest of the team here are very accepting of my disability. They don’t treat me any different, they treat me as one of the guys and it makes it easy to come to work.”

Jason’s Manager, Brett MacDonald has also noticed the positive changes in him since he first started working at Southside Toyota.“Jason is now way more confident, he talks to more people, has opened up more, and the rest of the team here really like working with Jason because he puts in 100% effort in everything he does.” Says Brett.

Ashley Chase, a Myhorizon client who is in a similar role at Southside Toyota Woolloongabba also talks fondly about his work environment. “I was very nervous and cautious when I first started. Now it’s easier and familiar and I’m learning new things about cars. I’ve become more confident” says Ashley.

Ashley is also a participant of Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service where he receives assistance from a Disability Support Worker at his home a few days a week. After Ashley expressed a keen interest in working in the automotive industry, Myhorizon was able to work towards a new employment opportunity for Ashley.

Delivering sustainable employment outcomes is at the heart of everything our Employment and Training team do at Myhorizon.

“It’s about placing people in the right jobs with the right employers and providing them with ongoing on-the-job support and training so they have the best chance for success” says Jean Jensen, Employment & Training  Manager at Myhorizon.

“The management of Southside Toyota have always been accommodating of Ashley and Jason. Myhorizon appreciate their support in providing a positive and flexible workplace.” Says Jean.

“So many of our clients are so eager to have a job, and really hard-working. When we are able to match them up in a job that they enjoy, and are good at, there is no better feeling.”

Myhorizon are proud to have recently been awarded 5 STARS for our Disability Employment Services by the Australian Government Department of Jobs & Small Business.

Learn more about Myhorizon’s Employment and Training Services.