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Poor son

(22 Posts)
ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 12:23:59

As some of you will know our 26 yr old son is on the spectrum. He cannot find work so his case worker suggested he volunteer in one of our local charity shops.
He submitted an application form and got an e-mail a fortnight later asking him to come in today for an induction session. The manager who sent the e-mail wasn't even there and won't be for the next fortnight ! The people in the shop were not expecting him. So he has in effect 'been sent home'.
This is not good for his confidence and self asteem which he already lacks.
AIBU to be angry

silverlining48 Sat 05-Aug-17 12:27:50

That is awful. I feel a complaint letter would be in order.

gillybob Sat 05-Aug-17 12:28:39

You absolutely have every right to be angry nina (I'm angry for you) your DS is offering himself to the charity for free ! The bloomin' manager must've know he wasn't going to be there for the next 2 weeks ! Could someone in the store not have given him something to do ? What a knock to your DS's confidence indeed . Not good enough at all !

trueblue22 Sat 05-Aug-17 12:30:31

That was very insensitive. I would phone the head of the charity (or the manager's line manager) and tell them what has happened.

I volunteer for a mental health charity and they are very careful in how they communicate with service users, and each other.

The manager might have genuinely forgotten, but you need an explanation from the charity in the meantime.

ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 12:38:38

I said the same gilly about them giving him a task but apparently he needs 'training' before he's let loose hmm and this has to be done by the manager who is female BTW

cornergran Sat 05-Aug-17 12:38:47

I agree, very bad practice. I was a volunteer co-ordinator back in the day and know how much support is needed in the early days for any new volunteer, its no different to beginning a new paid job. I wonder if a written complaint from you on his behalf and one from the case worker would be a good way forward. I think I would be looking to find the organisation's policy regarding volunteers and then write to the person at the top of the volunteering tree. If you get stuck perhaps ask ncvo or your local volunteer bureau for advice and support. It just shouldn't have happened. I hope your son will be able to understand that there are good places and not so good places to offer his time and energy, such a shame this was a bad place. Not sure how you found it but if you have a local volunteer bureau they should take time to talk with him and then help him with a placement, briefing the organisation appropriately to ensure a good level of support for him. If they did arrange the placement then direct your complaint via them, they need to know. I am just so sorry this has happened.

gillybob Sat 05-Aug-17 12:40:28

Well she should be ashamed of herself nina poor lad . Could you / your DS not approach another charity ?

ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 12:41:36

I've told him to e-mail her and say that he turned up at the allotted time just incase the staff forget to say on her return.

gillybob Sat 05-Aug-17 12:44:40

Yes good idea . Then your DS has proof of what happened . I would be tempted to approach another charity in the mean time just to keep a few irons in the fire. Then who knows DS might be able to tell the ignorant manager where to stick her voluntary job !

ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 12:45:41

gilly his case worker accompanied him to two shops with his completed form. They are both nationwide charities, in fact todays is international. He has had no reply from the second shop

gillybob Sat 05-Aug-17 13:03:38

Probably goes without saying but I think you need to speak with his caseworker too and tell him/her how disappointed you feel for your son .
My DD used to be a manager at a large McDonalds branch and they always sponsored young people ( and some not quite so young) with all kinds of special needs in roles such as clearing tables, tidying up, replenishing stock, filling bottles etc. My DD was a "go to manager " meaning that someone could approach her if they needed any help/time off/explanations etc.

ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 13:06:31

gilly yes your right his caseworker will be informed.
Thanks for the support.

M0nica Sat 05-Aug-17 14:44:20

My experience is that many charities are very hot on induction and training. They have to be to tick all the right boxes, but wonderfully lackadaisical about sorting it out properly and unfortunately ninathenana's experience is only too common.

I have volunteered with three charities over the last 15 years. All had perfect systems of training and volunteer contact on paper. None of them were effective in actually walking the walk. One I gave up on recently, actually said they understood why I was going and they felt they had completely wasted the skills I had to offer, which skills were the ones they were so delighted I had when I volunteered in the first place.

The charity I now work for, was very hot about not letting me do any work until I had been on the 3 day training course. It took six months to get me on that course, and they accept that the course was not that good anyway.

I work on my own as a case worker and I have spent 6 months struggling with my first case because of problems getting into their computer system, with minimal help and assistance. It was my DH who finally discovered that the charities computer system was incompatible with Chrome and that this was the cause of my problems.

I nearly quit but had a client in desperate need of help.

Nanabilly Sat 05-Aug-17 15:07:22

Has your son tried Tesco .They have or used to have a good work ethic with people who are slightly different to others whether it be mentally or physically or age wise. I'm sorry I don't know what is politically correct to say nowadays.
It may have changed in the 15 years since I worked there but it's worth a try . My next door neighbours son got in with them while I was still there , when he left college , he is autistic but brilliant with numbers and he works in the petrol station and never has to look at books or systems to tell others how many litres of fuel is to go in which tank as he remembers it all. Bus timetables's like he has a photographic memory.

Jalima1108 Sat 05-Aug-17 15:30:14

M&S too - at least in a very large one not far from us there are people on the tills in the food hall who are 'differently abled' for whatever reason.

M0nica Sat 05-Aug-17 17:33:49

Some years ago a friend of mine who had high functionimg Downes Syndrome, worked for M&S and may do so still.

ninathenana Sat 05-Aug-17 18:24:47

Tesco's "have nothing suitable" for him and he's just had a "thanks but no thanks" from the other supermarket in our area. Our nearest M&S is 20 miles away. The problem is although he is high functioning his social skills are zero. I struggle to get him to have a conversation with H and I. Give him a job and he will beaver away at it, just don't ask him to communicate with you smile
Thanks for the replies/ suggestions everyone

kittylester Sat 05-Aug-17 18:38:48

A few garden centres or nurseries round here seem to 'employ' people like your son and especially if they are volunteering.

It's a b****r isn't it nina. DS volunteers three times a week doing adult literacy, having been a teacher but also volunteers for another charity helping someone with it. Charities are often glad of volunteers. I hope he finds something. (((hugs))) for both of you.

GillT57 Sat 05-Aug-17 19:09:59

Don't approach Tesco, they have used and abused the son of a friend for many years. He is like your son, not brilliant on communication but exceedingly dilligent at any job he is given, often to the detriment of his health. So, they have had him gathering trollies, in all weather, for years and years, when he would easily be able to do a job inside, in say, the bakery. Charities do seem to be losing their way these days don't they? I do hope you get something sorted, and yes, you should lodge a complaint. If charities want to be treated as 'proper' businesses with training etc., they need to get all the other parts of running a business right too, Like being there when you have made an appointment.

annsixty Sat 05-Aug-17 19:34:06

Not quite the same situation but a good friend of ours have a son with Down' s.
He worked at Tesco for the same sum of money as his parents got in benefits for him and was happy.
A new manager came along and he was treated very badly and emotionally abused, he voted with his feet and his parents took action, to no avail. The company may pay lip service but the staff determine the reality.

Jalima1108 Sat 05-Aug-17 20:26:39

A plant nursery sounds like a good idea if there is one nearby and they are aware and sympathetic.

harrigran Sun 06-Aug-17 08:52:15

The hardest worker, in our local Morrison's, is a man with Down's. He has been there for the last twenty years and you never see him standing idle or chatting.