Employment with McCourts Garden Centre Helps Lachlan’s Confidence Grow – NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports

With a busy Christmas period just around the corner Millicent nursery, McCourts Garden Centre are happy they have 19-year-old Lachlan Walker as part of their team.  

Lachlan first joined the business in September 2021 on a work experience placement.  

Through his WDEA Works School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) he had identified the business as somewhere he was interested in undertaking work experience.  

Lachlan’s Employment Preparation Engagement Consultant Michelle Long helped him create a cover letter and resume. They made an appointment to meet with Christine Agnew, the owner of McCourts Garden Centre.  

Lachlan experiences autism spectrum disorder which affects his confidence and memory. Taking these first steps towards finding a work experience placement was a big accomplishment.  

“Lachlan is a very sweet and genuine person. We went to McCourts Garden Centre to meet Christine and see if there were any jobs Lachlan could assist with.  His personality quickly won Christine over and she created a work experience placement especially for him,” said Michelle.  

Christine Agnew, Lachlan Walker and Michelle Long

Together Lachlan and Michelle prepared for his work experience placement, they went shopping to ensure he had the right work clothes and boots. They created a workbook so he could write things down to help with his memory and made a list of tasks he would be responsible for. Having these processes in place helped Lachlan feel more confident.   

Lachlan thrived in his four-week work experience placement, he was a hard worker and ensured all the plants were watered properly.  

When WDEA Works Team Leader Jenny Brown asked if there were any employment opportunities, Christine was happy to offer Lachlan a job.  

In employment, Lachlan has continued to excel. As someone who enjoys sorting and organising things (he can complete a Rubix cube in under one minute!) he is learning how this translates in the workplace and showing his initiative.  

Slowly he is taking on tasks outside of his workbook and helping when he can see a job needs doing. He is gaining more confidence in the workplace and is expanding on the jobs he feels comfortable undertaking.  

“Lachlan has settled in very well with the team. He has specific tasks and has also got random tasks. He is very versatile and always does a good job. I am very happy with his contribution,” said Christine.  

Lachlan continues to attend his SLES sessions with Michelle on a fortnightly basis where he proudly tells her about his work and diligence towards the tasks he’s responsible for.   

“It has been wonderful to work with Lachlan and watch his confidence grow. I am so happy he is comfortable in his role and that he enjoys it so much. I feel very lucky to be a part of Lachlan’s journey and wish him well in his future endeavours” said Michelle.  

Both Jenny and Michelle continue to support Lachlan and Christine in the workplace to make sure they continue to be happy with the employment arrangement.   

Lachlan is happy in his role and excited about his future “I have had a bit of fun here and I have known the jobs and that has built up my confidence. I have also had a few different jobs that make my day interesting,” he said.  

As Lachlan is now in open employment, he will begin to transition from SLES with Michelle to Disability Employment Services (DES) with Jenny. WDEA Works makes sure this process is gradual and fortunately both services are run out of their James Street office in Mt Gambier.  

In DES both Lachlan and Christine will still be supported in the workplace with Jenny continuing to make regular visits to see if there are any supports either of them needs.  

“Seeing Lachlan transition from SLES to DES has been a positive experience, all the great work that Michelle and Lachlan have worked on, has set Lachlan up for a very successful experience. I look forward to supporting Lachlan in the next stage of his employment,” said Jenny.  

Want to learn more about WDEA Works SLES? Contact the team today! 

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