Talk to Rutherford NDIS participant, Sam Procter and you’ll hear how proud he is about his new role, employed one day a week at KBA Facilities and Maintenance, part of the Kingston Group, a large Newcastle commercial and residential construction company.
Now the 24-year-old, who has a learning delay, a receptive and expressive language disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is working with a team who understand his conditions, and he’s being taught valuable building and social skills.
“I hope if I keep working hard it will lead to more hours or even full-time work,” Sam said.
“I really love the job. I’m like a TA (trades assistant). I work with a team and we do a lot of maintenance work on houses.
“We fix fences; we paint, remove graffiti – pretty much all the maintenance work that needs to be done around homes in the region, and I work with a great bunch of blokes.”
Completing a NDIS School Leavers Employment Program (SLES), through his chosen provider Aruma, Sam got a taste of various work experiences to help build his skills.
Engagement Project Officer, Bobby Newton, who witnessed Sam develop into a confident, determined and hard-working young man, said when KBA asked if he knew of any motivated participants, willing to turn up every day, Sam instantly came to mind.
“Will, KBA’s business development manager, asked if Aruma could be part of a program it had developed, called Empower Maintenance.
“It’s an inclusive social and economic participation program designed to help people facing challenges to gain valuable job skills so they can lead more independent lives,” he said.
“When I mentioned Sam to Will, he said let’s set up an informal interview. We did, and I went in with Sam to support him.
“Given he was from Rutherford and didn’t have a drivers licence, Will asked Sam how he was going to get to KBA’s Cardiff office, a 50 minute drive away, to start work at 7am?
“Sam had his travel all thought out. He said he’d ride his bike to the bus, then get off, catch two other trains, then ride to the office with 15 minutes to spare before he started work.
“His answer just blew Will and his colleague, Johnno, away. They said, ‘Wow Sam, you’ve knocked our socks off’. They just loved his motivation so he got the job.”
Sam said he was so excited to be hired to do a job he loved and could learn from.
“Mum and dad were stoked. Dad was so happy he was reduced to tears,” he said proudly.
Sam said his NDIS funding supports him to get to and from work and to enjoy other activities in his community.
“I do a Men’s group Thursdays. We learn new skills and do lots of fun activities,” he said.
Bobby said Sam is really doing well on Kingston’s Empower Maintenance books, but now he is faced with a bit of a problem.
“Will keeps coming back asking me for more Sams,” He said with a laugh.
“Essentially, what Will is saying is he wants more people who are motivated; willing to turn up on time and put in a good day’s work, so now I’m on the hunt for more Sams!
“We are all so proud of him. Sam’s always motivated; he will give anything a go; he’s keen to learn new skills and he’s looking forward to kicking some serious goals.
“We just hope it will lead into additional hours or even full-time work,” Bobby said.