I heard about Mencap through my mum and social worker, then mum got a call from the Mencap Employment Officer who arranged to come out and meet me at home. They talked me through the whole process of what was involved, what was expected of me, and explained what the EmployAbility project was all about.

I have had full support from day one with Mencap. They came to my house to meet with me and did a profile with me asking me what I would like to do, as I had never thought about so many employment options before. In October 2016 they helped me secure a job placement with my local Poundstretcher store and once that placement was over I was then offered a paid job.  My Employment Officer helped prepare me for the interview, coming out to my house in the evening going over questions and helping me fill in my application form for paid work. I was successful in obtaining paid work and Mencap helped me to do this.

Mencap helped me from day one with job coaching and still comes in for monitoring visits to help me keep on track. My employment officer helped me to understand my role, introduced me to staff, showed me what I would be doing and helped me feel comfortable.

When I started on my first day I had to do two health and safety tests and the manager asked if I needed help with this, my Employment Officer spent the time with me on my first day to go through this, making sure I was able to understand it all and helped me pass the short Health and Safety test. 

Jamie at Poundstretcher in Lurgan

"Having a job means so much to me. It means independence, it means I have been able to have my voice heard, to do something I like that is meaningful and worthwhile. I have been afforded financial independence and have my own money now which I have earned. I look forward to going into my job every week"


I have many varied job roles in my retail job and some of my roles include, tidying up the store, restocking items, turning items that are close to their sell by dates, moving items around in the store, helping to re-shelve and add shelves to empty isles, working in the store room and helping with the deliveries. I do anything that is needed or asked of me.

As my confidence and skills have grown I have been afforded the ability to do more tasks. What I like most about my job is working with a good team that I trust and know that I will get help if needed. I like the variety of tasks and the fact that no two days are the same. The store is always busy and fast paced and I enjoy this. I am now more confident in myself and I look forward to going to work, I really try to do my best every time I am there.

Sionainn McConville, Store Manager at Poundstretcher in Lurgan said, “I hadn’t heard of the Mencap Employment Service before, but I have been very impressed by what they offer and the level of service provided by Mencap. It has been really good to have the opportunity to work with a different group of people we have not previously worked with before. It’s been great to see Jamie develop and to get an opportunity he may not have had before, in the short time he has been here I have seen improvements in his social and work skills. Mencap and the support offered have been a great help to me as I have been able to get on with my work in the store knowing that I don’t have to worry about Jamie, as Mencap offer great one-to-one support and are always there to discuss any concerns or problems. So far the whole service has been a pleasure to work with and it is something I hope to look further into in the future."

Learning Disability Week: Denise's Story

Denise from Castlederg has been supported by Mencap on the EmployAbility programme, this is her story on how she gained paid work.
Read more about Learning Disability Week: Denise's Story

Learning Disability Week: Sean's Story

Hear from Sean, who's been supported by Mencap's Employment services in Derry/Londonderry to help him find paid work.
Read more about Learning Disability Week: Sean's Story