Anchor Hanover launch placements for autistic students
Last month Anchor Hanover partnered with Lighthouse Futures Trust and Shipley College to welcome four young people with autistic spectrum conditions and other learning disabilities into our Housing Finance, Cash and Banking and Income departments.
The placements were initiated by Jaimie Dorward, our Finance Partnering Manager, who has a personal connection as her son is on the autistic spectrum and Karen Reddy, Head of Tax & Treasury who originally identified Light House Trust as a potential partner at a conference.
The goal of this partnership is to help young people into employment by providing high-quality employability training and valuable work experience through internships with reputable employers.
The placements are being supported by Lighthouse Futures Trust and Shipley College which the four interns currently attend.
Alongside the interns, Anchor Hanover have two Job Coaches based on site, one from Shipley College to support the initial settling in of the students and one from Lighthouse Futures Trust who remains for the duration of the programme.
The role of the job coach is to ensure their wellbeing is looked after. Job Coach Emily Fewtrell says she has seen a massive increase in their confidence levels already: “At the beginning, the interns found even simple tasks such as logging into their computers very daunting and were afraid of making mistakes. A few weeks in they are now getting through the work they’re given quickly and have gained the confidence to ask questions if they are unsure. They are really growing in self-esteem and feeling proud when they complete tasks or are able to use the problem-solving strategies they’ve learned.”
Reflecting on his time at Anchor Hanover, intern Uthmaan said: “What I’m enjoying most so far is learning the different processes, being able to identify where to put data on the spreadsheets. I find it satisfying to complete my work.”
Jaimie says that the placements which will run for a full academic year are already having a positive impact. “Working with these interns is helping us to understand different approaches that may be required for different learning types. As the interns begin to take on more tasks and start working with other teams we’ll be bring in some general disability awareness training across the team and that awareness will make us all more mindful of how we work with each other."
Speaking about the placement, intern Ben says: “I’ve enjoyed this experience so far and what I really hope is that I can get a permanent job here at the end of the programme’ and this is the ultimate goal for all involved.”
Ruth Petzold, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for Anchor Hanover says: “the work Jaimie and Karen have done in the Finance Team is brilliant. I hope we can expand this initiative into more departments and give even more young people the opportunity of employment.”