David is 42 and has a learning disability. He plays snooker and golf, and enjoys metal detecting. He lives in Wetherby and for the past six years has been supported by Dimensions to work at the local Morrisons, a role that he has found tremendously fulfilling. Along with everyone else at Dimensions, David has a “one page profile” – a summary of what makes him tick – to help him and those around him. This is the story of how that one page profile helped David save his job.
One of the ways David’s learning disability shows through is in anxiety and extreme negativity; he is also easily confused. At home, support team Mahmoud and Ian counteract this through discussing issues and highlighting positives. Being supported helps David try new things, knowing there is someone beside him if he needs extra help. But of course, his support team can’t accompany him to work.
After a while, David started returning home from work feeling negative and frustrated. There was a real worry that either David or Morrisons might lose faith and decide to part company.
But his support team didn’t want him to lose out on the fantastic opportunities the job has offered him. Mahmoud said, “It’s been absolutely brilliant for him and he is so well respected there, he is really dedicated and hard working, has earned pay rises and has made lots of friends there too – there is a real camaraderie with his colleagues both in and out of work.”
By sharing and discussing David’s one page profile, Morrisons and his line manager gained a deeper understanding of David, both his abilities and the areas where he needs a little more support. And his support team gained a better understanding of the roots of the conflict, so were better able to help David work through these.
The one page profile is just one of a wide range of simple, practical tools that help people supported by Dimensions to exert choice and control over their lives. And it looks like it’s catching – we increasingly hear stories of employers using one page profiles within their own workforces to great effect.
Mahmoud added, “David is much more positive about his role now. We consistently celebrate what is a real achievement for David – that he has maintained his role at Morrisons and is doing a great job. The one page profile is a very simple tool – but it demonstrably works.”
Dimensions is a specialist provider of a wide range of services for people with learning disabilities and people who experience autism. We are a not-for-profit organisation, supporting around 3,500 people and their families throughout England and Wales. www.dimensions-uk.org