Here, Stephen talks about his experience of both being supported by and working for East Kent Mencap, and why it’s made a difference to him.
I started using East Kent Mencap’s services in January 2016. My previous service provider changed my support and I didn’t feel it was flexible enough to meet my needs anymore, so started looking for something else. I spoke to quite a few local providers, but liked East Kent Mencap the most.
I currently live in the community and receive support from the charity’s Supporting Independence Service. Compared to my previous provider, East Kent Mencap provides me with more choice. I’m aware of the other services the charity provides, but feel that it’s my decision to access these or not.
When I started using East Kent Mencap’s services, I had a job as a cleaner, but the hours weren’t regular. One of my support workers then told me that there was a vacancy for a cleaner at the charity and encouraged me to apply. Soon after, I had an interview and was offered the job, which I started in October 2016.
My job at East Kent Mencap is much more suitable than my previous role as it provides regular hours and income. The job is also very social as I work during office hours, which allows me to talk to staff and members. Whilst doing this role, I’ve learnt about health and safety in the workplace and have developed skills that I can also use at home.