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A dab hand in the kitchen

Hello, my name is Jessica I would like to tell you all my story.

In 2018 I decided I would like to live independently in my own place. I asked my workers to help me go through the process of doing this. I also asked them to help me find the right property. And when I found it, they helped me move in.

I really enjoy my independence although I did struggle at first as, like lots of people, I worried about looking after my money so that I can pay my bills. I also needed to build-up some of my skills like shopping for, preparing and cooking my meals. But my workers soon put me at ease, and I’ve got all this in hand now.

This is when I decided to do something for just for me. I applied for and got accepted on a 2-year college placement based at ‘The Usual Place’ which is a local coffee shop who provide opportunities for young people with learning disabilities to develop skills in all areas of running a café. I really enjoyed the chances to learn new skills and meet new people that this brought me.

My placement has given me the confidence and independence I so wanted.  I’ve learned so much through my experiences at the café. I helped to prepare and cook the veg to make soups, preparing sandwiches for the lunchtime rush and also was involved in preparing buffets for outside catering. In fact, I was really pleased to be able to help out at a few weddings we did the food for.

All this hard work has really paid off and I successfully achieved my SCQF Level 4 in Professional Cookery from Dumfries College. This has made me very proud.

Sadly, not long after this lockdown came which means I haven’t been able to say a proper goodbye to my work colleagues or to find myself another volunteering job as yet. But I feel positive about the future and getting the chance to do these things once lockdown ends.

I am now more confident at home. And I thought you would like to see some pics of me cooking spaghetti bolognaise and chicken chow mein.

Thank you!