Guest post - Mike's experience of MINT

2016-07-13 11:38:29 | Uncategorized

I’m Mike, 24 and have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which means I use a powered wheelchair to get around. The first question that entered my mind when going to MINT was “can they really help me?” The short answer to that is yes! In my case spending time at MINT increased my confidence, even the first time going made me nervous, but that quickly changed, all of their advisers were very welcoming.

I attended several workshops with MINT, probably the most enjoyable ones were to do with teamwork. MINT support a wide range of young people, whilst being helped myself it was nice to see that others were also benefitting from the support of MINT. We did some cooking tasks which seemed a strange idea at first but this helped with communication amongst peers, also giving a sense of achievement when completed.

On the slightly more serious side I attended workshops about interviews. These included preparing for interviews, how you should dress, giving good eye contact and appearing confident – these 3 things being the highlights of what an interviewer might be looking for.MC outside Asda1

 Throughout my time at MINT we updated my CV. I think this helped me to be noticed during the application process. We put everything in order, and added some work experience which was organised through MINT.

I ended up at City College Norwich doing work experience in their admin department. This was very helpful to me, I got some good feedback from members of their team and the line manager. I have some accounting and ICT qualifications so these were relevant to the work, using word processors and Microsoft Excel were important as well as using my accounting knowledge to process invoices.

During this time I attended interviews for paid jobs that would meet my requirements, one with the Broads Authority. A job coach from MINT went with me and although I didn’t get the job I got good feedback and this gave me a confidence boost.

After several months of job searching we eventually found the ideal job at Asda. My job coach Sarah helped me with settling in during my training and also when I began my role as Gatekeeper in the new Asda store on Hall Road. I now work 12 hours a week on alternate days which is ideal for my requirements. Working long hours would affect my medical condition so these factors were important.

MC group

Away from work I play a sport called Powerchair Football. I am player/coach at Norwich City PFC in the south east regional league, we won Division 2 this year so it’s something I’m really proud of! I have played the sport for over 8 years so I do my best to teach some younger players with skills and tactical knowledge.

I also play in the Premier Division with Evergreen PFC, based near Watford and we succeeded in keeping our place for next year which was our main aim.

MC with ball

I would like to thank everyone at MINT for my support in finding employment, with a special mention to my job coach Sarah Bird.

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