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Category: Blogger's Corner, Staff, Celebration, Down's Syndrome
GETTING your first pay packet is always exciting, but it proved extra special for a Worcestershire man with Down's Syndrome.
George Allport, who is from Church Lench near Evesham, works part-time at Hillers Farm Shop on the outskirts of Alcester.
He was on duty over the busy Christmas season, passed a trial period with flying colours and is now a permanent member of staff.
George, 22, had completed unpaid work experience before at a local farm, but getting wages and a payslip was a first for him.
He and his family have praised Patrice Marx, the Worcestershire County Council social worker who helped him to make the transition to adult life.
"I like everything about my job and the people I work with are really nice," George said.
"Getting my first ever wages was great.”
George went to mainstream school until he was 10, before moving to Derwen in Shropshire, a residential college for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
There, George won the Emma Briscoe cup for achievement in hospitality and housekeeping - and met his long-term girlfriend, who also has Down’s Syndrome and lives in Staffordshire.
His mum Julia said George took his college portfolio to the Hillers interview and was offered a job on the spot. He started work the same day.
"George mixes well with the other staff," said Julia.
"They absolutely love him - he’s such a character."
George also attends Warwickshire College where he studies hospitality and catering three days a week, and does a day’s voluntary horticulture work in Studley.
Julia, a retired teacher, is extremely grateful for the support of the social worker who helped George make the transition to adult life.
"I’m very proud - he’s doing really well," she said.
"George wants to leave home and live independently, and that’s the next step he’s working towards."
Councillor Shelia Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "Worcestershire is working with all partners and providers of care services to make sure we have the right type of support for people with a learning disability within their local community.
"We want to support more people with a learning disability to find paid work and are developing plans for how we will make this happen.
"George's hard work and determination has resulted in paid employment at a local farm shop, of which he and his family should be rightly proud."