Natasha's Story - Orchardville



Natasha’s Story

Vocational Mentor – The Orchard Cafe

‘I love seeing participants achieve something they thought they couldn’t. To see people improve their skills and enjoy their work is a very rewarding feeling.’

Natasha started working with Orchardville as a Vocational Mentor based in The Orchard Cafe in April 2015. During that time she has worked directly with over 50 participants with a learning disability or autism, helping each improve their skills in preparation for the world of work.

One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects of her role is balancing her mentoring of participants with the demands of working in a busy community café.

‘The café’s really busy, so making sure we meet the needs of our customers is something we focus on every day. When you’re making coffee, serving customers and doing everything else you would expect to do at work as well supporting participants to learn those same skills the time definitely flies but I love it!’…… ‘it’s what gives our café the warm, family feel it has’

As for the future, Natasha is firmly focused on helping more participants attending The Orchard Café secure employment.

‘When I applied for this job I wanted to gain more experience working with adults with learning disability and to train people who needed support to achieve their goals. All of us love see the participants we work with progress into employment, it’s something we feel really proud to be a part of’

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At work in the Orchard Café, Belfast

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