WorkFit would like to acknowledge the wonderful support Shomari has received since starting his job at Rabobank in London. Shomari started a paid fixed term position in September 2017 as a Mail Room Clerk working for one day doing five hours per week. This was a significant development of Shomari’s career, following his successful work experience placements at the Department of Education and the Ministry of Justice earlier that year, for which he was awarded the first ever Personal Achievement prize at the 2017 ENEI Awards.
Rabobank are a full-range financial services provider that operates on co-operative, socially responsible principles. The bank has a strong commitment to community projects through its charity the Rabobank Foundation, which invests in social projects throughout the world that help vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. This strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility motivated them to register with WorkFit in 2017 as they were keen to take on a candidate.
Like all employers who register with WorkFit, Rabobank received free Down’s syndrome awareness training before taking on Shomari. This training helped to ensure staff members were able to work successfully with a colleague with Down’s syndrome. It covered a range of areas that were useful not only for supporting Shomari but also for the organisation in general, such as communications and management and support strategies.
Rabobank staff found the training very helpful, with comments such as “Very positive. Put us in a better position to be able to support” and “It’s good to know that support is always available to us”. “The training was very important”.
Shomari’s duties at Rabobank include sorting all incoming post and distributing it to the different teams within the office, as well as checking stationary supplies. Shomari has done so well that his hours were extended in November 2017 from five hours to ten hours across two days.
Shomari greatly enjoys his position, saying “I really like my job. I have learnt to travel to work independently and when I get there I work on the computer reading my emails. I also like franking the outgoing mail. I do post-runs on the different floors and I enjoy my lunch break. My colleagues are funny, they tell jokes and make me laugh. I would like to continue working at Rabobank for ever”.
Shomari’s parents are delighted by their son’s success. They told us: “This has been a very successful placement and now an exciting career opportunity for Shomari. He has settled in so well with all members of staff and the leadership and management team have also been very supportive. Rabobank are a great inclusive and forward-thinking organisation which truly puts its staff first. We are very optimistic about the future for Shomari and the bank’s vision for his continued development and ambassadorial role for change in the work place.
We would like to give special thanks to the key staff on the WorkFit programme for providing this opportunity and making the transition so smooth and finally to our son Shomari who has demonstrated great personal and employability skills and we are very proud of him too.”
Rabobank have been delighted by how well Shomari has done in his job. They have greatly enjoyed working with WorkFit, finding the process to be a boost to the organisation overall. Shomari’s colleagues like working with him, Lee commenting that “It’s been a fun learning experience having Shomari work with us.
Shomari’s previous manager Matthew told WorkFit that “It has been a real pleasure to get to know Shomari and I am very grateful for the opportunity we have to work with him. He is always smiling; always upbeat and from what I can tell he really enjoys working for Rabobank which is wonderful to see. He gets on really well with the team that he works with, and the fact that he calls them his “friends” rather than “colleagues” says a lot about the relationship that he has formed with them. At the end of the day Shomari and I have a period of reflection where we review the work that he has done throughout the day. This has been a really useful exercise in identifying and consolidating the skills that he is picking up on a day to day basis. It has also provided the opportunity to reflect on how far he has come since he first started, which is a very long way. Shomari has a heart of gold, and his honest and genuine approach to everything he does is a real breath of fresh air. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him and seeing what great things he will achieve.”
Rabobank also joined WorkFit at the United Nations for World Down Syndrome Day 2018.
We hope that more finance sector employers will be inspired by Rabobank’s experience. We thank them for their on-going support and congratulate Shomari on his successful career progress.
WorkFit supports people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives. For more information about WorkFit please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the WorkFit website: www.dsworkfit.org.uk