Spotlight on Amanda – The Importance of Employment

Last week a story was featured regarding Amanda and her experience from her time currently with The Bunch of Grapes and her experience working with the team. Check out Amanda’s story below:



Michelle Smith (The Courier): “AMANDA Weston loves “everything” about her job a year after a one-day trial to test her work capabilities led to an ongoing position at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel.
Ms Weston, who has an intellectual disability, works three days a week as a “Jill of all trades” doing everything from pouring wine, soft drink and working the till to taking bookings and setting up the function room. “My favourite part of working there is everything,” she said. “It’s very good because I’m friendly to everyone, I laugh and smile.” Ms Weston was originally supposed to spend just a day at the hotel so her APM Employment Services consultant Zoe Thornell could see her work skills. Bunch of Grapes Hotel manager Jamie Morcombe had previously employed another person through Ms Thornell and agreed to give Ms Weston a go, but after her one-day work trial Mr Morcombe decided to employ her. to testAmanda’s capabilities, but she was just amazing.

It was her personality that sold me. She’s got a heart of gold, loves people, loves customers and anything we ask her to do she smiles, says okay, and off she goes,” he said. Ms Weston has become
popular with regulars and says she has found a second family at her workplace. “While there are a few things Amanda can’t quite do due to her height, like pulling beers and using the coffee machine, she’s a good listener and learner and she’s been a huge help,” Mr Morcombe said. Ms Thornell said she was looking for more supportive employers willing to give potential new workers a go. She said jobs gave confidence, improved mental health, stability and flexibility to clients and employers just needed to be willing to train a new staffmember and be patient. “We look for employers who can be patient and who can also be flexible,” she said. “We pay subsidies, organise work trials, and can pay for interview clothes, new shoes or anything a person needs for the job,” she said.

APM supported Ms Weston to redo her Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and to complete other work ready courses. “Once Amanda started work, I saw her weekly to see how she was going, if she needed any extra help, but I was pleased to hear she didn’t need much, just some taxi vouchers to take her home safely after work,” Ms Thornell said. “I then talked to Jamie to see if one of the staff would walk Amanda out to the taxi after her shift to make sure she got in the cab safely, the driver knew her address and she was being charged correctly. It wasn’t an issue at all, so it’s all worked out really well.” Ms Weston’s National Disability Insurance Scheme funding also provides for support worker to help her build more life skills. “I do have a support worker Brook and I do life skills with her like baking a cake, doing maths, and money so I can use the till at work,” Ms Weston said.