Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Learning Disability Week – My first… job

David SkinnerIn this blog, David Skinner, 41, talks about his job at Swiss Post Solutions and how after being made redundant from his previous job he rebuilt his confidence and developed his skills.

My name is David Skinner and I work for Swiss Post Solutions (SPS), which is contracted to supply services to Citi Group. I’ve been working in the Citi Group building at Canary Wharf for near enough two years now.

I used to work for an accountancy firm but I had that unfortunate situation of redundancy, due to moving and downsizing of the offices. It knocked my confidence a bit.

I approached the Job Centre, and they put me on to Mencap. They managed to get me a work trial with SPS who then took me on permanently. If I need it, there’s some great support. People understand, you know. It makes you feel confident that you can actually address any issues, because you’re constantly learning every day.

I work with a great bunch of people. At SPS, everyone’s on the same level as you – all coming from a similar background, working in a post room sort of area. When I first started I covered various departments from international courier orders to inner London couriers. I worked with the photocopiers sometimes, and also covered the loading bay area, which is where they have a whole load of mail that comes in throughout the day.

I also take mail up to various offices in the Citi building. And like my colleague Doreen says, you’re sort of like a postman, a courier with a trolley. You’re running around delivering post with your PDA, getting signatures and meeting a lot of people.

You get people saying hello to you in the corridor on the way and you’re like, “Do I know them?” because the way you work is so fast you just don’t realise the amount of people you meet. It’s been a great experience. Apart from going home tired, I actually feel I’ve got a smile on my face. Plus it keeps us fit!

Here are some of David’s colleagues talking about the contribution he makes at SPS.

“I’m Simon Wheeler; the client services manager for Swiss Post Solutions. I was the one who actually employed David back in 2012. Alan from Mencap got in touch with me after seeing the vacancy.

“I went and met David; he was so keen, very enthusiastic from the start in the interview. We then gave him a work trial for two weeks, which he passed and then we took him on full time. Since he started, David’s enthusiasm just shines through. He’s so keen to learn and always flexible and willing to do anything we ask him to do. He’s a real key member of the team now.”

Matt Bleach, key account manager for Swiss Post solutions across the UK and Ireland, and responsible for Swiss Post across the whole of Citi, adds: “I will say that it can be an investment in time when you first take people on, but you reap such a reward from that investment, that it’s well worth the time.”

Have you been inspired by David’s story? Learning Disability Today is supporting Mencap’s Learning Disability Week which is inviting people with a learning disability to share stories of their incredible first times. For more information on how to get involved with Learning Disability Week or how to share your own story head here: Learning Disability Week

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