Meet Bereket 

Meet Bereket  Toucan Employment Not-for-profit charity organisation supporting people with learning difficulties/disabilities

Refugee Bereket has learning disabilities and was only able to escape homelessness and gain employment thanks to Toucan …

Bereket came to the UK in 2018 from Eritrea in Eastern Africa, seeking asylum, refugee status and a better life in the UK. As part of the immigration process, he was transferred to Wales until the outcome of his application was decided.

Once the application was successful, he found himself at a loss. The Refugee Council wasn’t able to support him anymore because Bereket had been granted access to welfare support – which included accommodation, employment and education.

Then, homeless, in London and not knowing how to access the support he was entitled to, Bereket was signposted to Toucan Employment.

With his own Toucan advisor, an action plan was drawn up to address his immediate benefits needs and long-term career goals.

Having established an excellent working relationship with the DEA (Disability Employment Advisor) at Streatham Job Centre, and with his Toucan adviser, Bereket was able to access a benefit with limited capability for work or work-related activity due to his disabilities.

As part of his action plan, Bereket expressed a desire to further his education in computing technology and with his advisor he applied to Lesoco College (Lewisham College & Southwark College) for an NVQ in IT. Bereket passed with flying colours and has since started a full time IT course at the college.

This progress has given Bereket the self-esteem he needed to move on to a next step – a work placement to gain practical skills and move nearer to fulfilling his potential. We are confident that it will not be too long before Bereket is making the move to paid employment.

Interview techniques, travel training and funding for an interview outfit were just a few of the ways Toucan Employment supported Angelique.

Angelique has learning difficulties and had been finding it impossible to find suitable employment. At her first meeting she talked to her Toucan advisor about how hard it had been to find a job, that she needed some funding support, a job and help with online applications.

Angelique, with her Toucan advisor, explored her strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. We set up weekly meetings and started with an action plan. When an opportunity with Tesco came up in King’s Cross as a part time customer assistant Angelique said she was keen. With her advisor’s support she completed an application and an online customer service assessment.

The following week she was shortlisted for an interview and with her advisor’s support applied to Smart Works to receive smart clothing to attend the interview.

She practised the route to the interview with her advisor and, armed with interview techniques, she secured the job.

Angelique was referred to Toucan Employment through Southwark Works, an organisation which works in partnership with Toucan. However as a Lambeth resident they couldn’t support her. Toucan could – and continues to do so.

Meet Bereket  Toucan Employment Not-for-profit charity organisation supporting people with learning difficulties/disabilities