Vivo Care Choices is providing supported employment for Neil so he can offer a warm welcome to customers at cafés across west Cheshire.

An in-house service at Cheshire West and Chester Council, Vivo delivers a range of support for people with learning disabilities and autism, as well as older people and those with dementia.

After attending Vivo services in the Ellesmere Port area for several years, Neil has now started supported employment two days a week, working across Vivo’s cafés at Ellesmere Port Library, Stanlaw Abbey and the Little Roodee.

Not only has Neil been supported into paid employment for the first time, taking part in a range of courses to get ready for his new role, but he has also had training to help him travel independently to the workplace.

Neil said: “My biggest achievement was passing the food hygiene course as I had an exam to do at the end.

“I’ve also done courses like money handling and environmental health.

“One of my favourite things about working at the cafés is being on the till and serving customers.

“I’ve had support with going into work on my own and making sure I’ve got my phone with me in case I need to speak to anyone.”

Alongside his role at Vivo’s cafés, Neil is an active member of Voices 4 Choices, an advocacy group that provides an opportunity for people to have a strong voice in the services they access at Vivo.

Neil’s supported employment is backed by the Supported Employment Service, a programme run by the Council to provide support for adults with learning disabilities or autism to find and sustain paid employment. The service also offers guidance and support to employers that want to benefit from developing a diverse workforce.

Any organisations looking to link in with the service can email: supportedemploymentservice@cheshirewest.gov.uk.