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Alex is a BariSTAR

This is Alex. He is supported in one of our Hertfordshire services, and recently earned a promotion at his job in a local café.

The young man started volunteering at the award winning Liberty Tea Rooms in Hemel Hempstead after he came across the café on Facebook and decided that it was something he may enjoy doing.

Alex (right) and one of his co-workers

Originally working in the kitchen, Alex went on to be trained to wait on tables and has flourished in the new role.

He is doing such a great job, and enjoying himself so much, that he and the café have agreed that he will now be employed to do one paid shift per week as a waiter.

Café Manager Kerry-Anne said: “Alex has been doing so well with his Wait Staff training.  We’d like to put him on a regular shift pattern now.  It will mean an earlier start to his day of 0915.

“It’s been awesome to see him developing so well and gaining confidence, as well as his cheeky sense of humour. We’re so grateful for what he brings to the team.”

Dimensions staff support Alex to get to work and he carries out his shifts independently.

His role in the café is in addition to the voluntary work that he does at a local recycling yard.

Jill, Alex’s Mum said: “Since he has been in these two roles his speech has improved immensely, together with his confidence.”

Just 6% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England – 7430 people – are in paid work (Mencap). Compare this with the 74% of adults in the general population and the difference is staggering.

The same research found that 65% of adults with a learning disability would like a job, and Alex is a fine example of what he, and others, are capable of.