Andrew joined RNIB Scotland working with our Specialist Employability Support (SES) programme. Living with a Visual Impairment and not being employed had left Andrew feeling very nervous and lacking in confidence. He was however, very keen to push himself and to prove he could work. Andrew’s RNIB Adviser identified a number of ways they could work together, this included support with job search, completing application forms and writing cover letters.

Andrew wanted to update his CV, undertake interview skills and also wanted to gain new skills as he had no previous work experience.

RNIB initially asked if he would help cover reception at the Scotland HQ. Andrew agreed straightaway, despite having no experience answering calls or dealing with visitors within a busy reception, cafe and resource centre. He also volunteered at Inverkeithing High School Library.

After a few days shadowing the receptionist, he began taking calls on his own and dealing with visitors. Whilst there were a few very minor teething issues initially, he picked it up quickly and flourished in the role. He gained an understanding of the reception procedures and began to establish a good working knowledge of the staff and departments. He learned how to operate the switchboard, to transfer calls and the use of Outlook to pass on messages.

Andrew enjoyed the reception role so much that he applied for a similar job at the RNIB Employment and Learning Centre in Edinburgh. He was successful and has transitioned into employment easily. Andrew continues to improve, furthering his knowledge and understanding of reception procedures.

He says, “Alison, [his manager] is very supportive and happy to help him in any way she can”

Alison told us “Andrew is a firm part of the Admin team and we are delighted to have him on board. He is becoming a very confident young man who is willing to try new things, whether it be software packages he hasn't used before or new tasks.  He has physical limitations, but doesn't let them stop him being a team player and giving help to his colleagues.

If there's anything he could improve on, I think it would be his joke telling as that definitely needs work!”