Josh lands dream job at top Cheltenham restaurant

Chef Josh smiling as he leans his arm on a table in the dining room at The Ivy Cheltenham

Josh, who has autism and mental health challenges, was struggling to find work. He wanted to get into the hospitality trade but needed support.

He signed up to one of National Star’s work programmes. He was assigned his personal job coach who worked with him to develop his interview techniques and boosted his CV with extensive work experience placements in the catering sector, helping him to gain relevant qualifications.

Interview support from job coach

‘Having Josh, my job coach, made me feel much more reassured and he has helped me in lots of ways, from going to interviews with me to taking me to my first shift at The Ivy at 7am,’ said Josh, who lives in supported living in Gloucester. ‘He has even helped me learn to budget so that I have money to pay my bills.’

To enable Josh, aged 30, to manage in the busy kitchen environment, his job coach helped him break down work into specific tasks and created lists.

Becoming organised helps Josh to manage his anxiety

‘When I get anxious, I start forgetting so breaking things into tasks and putting lists on my phone has helped. I don’t think I would have been able to handle the pressure without the support of my job coach. I love this job and don’t want to mess it up,’ said Josh.

Matthew Aldred, Head Chef at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie, commented: ‘Josh is an integral part of our team and kitchen brigade, and I am excited to see him continue to grow and develop in his role.’

‘The Ivy has demonstrated that even in a busy commercial kitchen, with just small adjustments, they can attract a more diverse workforce,’ said Simon Welch, National Star Principal.

‘This is a wonderful success story for Josh who has grown in skills and confidence to be able to get paid employment and for The Ivy which has demonstrated an open-door policy and been rewarded with a committed and hardworking young man.’

Discover more about our highly successful work outcome programmes for students with physical and learning disabilities 

Hear what Josh had to say about his new job when he appeared on BBC Points West

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