Lucy working at her Workfit job at H&M

Lucy working at her Workfit job at H&MLucy Burgess is a Dance Leader with DanceSyndrome who is from Poulton-le-Fylde. She joined DanceSyndrome in 2014. At that time, Lucy was 21 and attended Preston College studying dance and drama. Lucy heard about DanceSyndrome through the College and came along to try a workshop. She loved the sessions and has since completed the DanceSyndrome, ‘Dance By Example Leadership training’ at a Level 1 to enable her to become a Dance Leader and learning many transferable skills for life and work. Lucy is part of DanceSyndrome’s DS Collective performance company and loves performance work.

Aside from her voluntary Dance Leader role with DanceSyndrome, Lucy was keen to find paid employment. With help from her mum, Lucy signed up for the Down’s Syndrome Society’s Workfit scheme and was excited to start a new job in late 2023. We wanted to share Lucy’s success during Learning Disability Week 2024. The theme for the week is “Do you see me?” and on Wednesday 19th June specifically, this is focused on employment, with a theme of “Will you work with me?”

Lucy was very excited to start her job at H&M in Preston and it was extra special for her because she started on 21st November which is also her 31st birthday! The H&M team were immediately very welcoming and there was cake and decorations to celebrate Lucy’s big day!

When asked what Lucy likes about her new job, she said “There are nice staff there who are really friendly. They are very helpful and supportive of me and are there to talk to and are very nice to me. I went to my first Christmas party, and we went out for a meal. They include me in everything.”

Lucy helping on the self checkouts at H&MWhilst discussing about the different responsibilities that she has, Lucy said “I have my own key and rota. I help with self-checkouts and tidying up. I would love to get the Employee of the month.”

Lucy is happy to be living an independent life. She talked about how she travels to work independently with a known and trusted taxi driver, she works hours that fit around other aspects of her life and she loves that she gets a staff discount so she can wear lots of nice clothes for work that she chooses herself.

Finding suitable work isn’t always easy for a person with a learning disability and there are often lots of barriers to overcome, but Lucy has had a really positive experience. She said “I did this through Workfit. I had a lady called Molly to support me and she worked with me and my mum. They talked to me about what jobs I would like and then Molly suggested me for this job. I like my job and I want to stay there and keep working there!”

The DanceSyndrome team are all very proud of Lucy and what she has achieved in the 10 years that she has been with us! We think she is doing an amazing job of challenging the way that society sees people with learning disabilities.

To find out more about Workfit, visit the Down’s Syndrome Association website. If you are interested in learning new skills through dance, why not look for a DanceSyndrome session that suits you? Visit the Sessions page on our website.

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