An Interview with Cher about her Job
Date: 25th October 2023
Cher Collins is employed by Down’s Syndrome Scotland as an Engagement Worker and she works with teenagers and young adults with Down’s syndrome on our TeenZ Space and FriendZ Space Programmes. She also delivers awareness training to education and healthcare professionals. She joined the charity a year ago and this is her first paid job. Cher is 31 and lives in Edinburgh.
Hi Cher – tell us a little bit about your job?
I love my job! I work with young people and young adults helping them stay connected through our online programmes. They are called TeenZ Space and FriendZ Space. I also deliver awareness training about Down’s syndrome and last year I did a session for people working in the health service and over 400 people came online!
Tell us how you got the job?
I was volunteering with the charity and the role came up. I was encouraged to go for it. I had a really positive interview experience and I was really excited when I was offered the job. I wasn’t at all nervous – I was given great support to apply for the job.
What impact has this job had on you?
It has impacted me a lot. My confidence has grown and I am now even more independent. This is the first time I have been paid for working and it means I can buy things and maybe even have a holiday. I’m treated just like all the other staff at my work. Having this job gave me the confidence to take on a Leadership Course and I graduated last year. I have learned new skills like how to run online meetings and how to deliver training online.
What needs to change to get more people with Down’s syndrome into paid jobs?
More support is needed to help people take the first step. We need to help companies understand what they are missing by not employing someone who has Down’s syndrome. We have so many skills and talents to offer – it’s about diversity and inclusion. I want all employers to just take a chance on us – you won’t regret it! Just give us the opportunity.
What about the future, Cher?
I want to write my autobiography so that I can share my experiences throughout my life. I want to encourage everyone to try and get a job and be the best they can be. Most of all I want to be a voice for all people with Down’s syndrome living in Scotland!
We are so glad to have Cher as part of our team at Down’s Syndrome Scotland. But we know that there are many more people like Cher who have so much to offer in the workplace but cannot find a job. If you think you could offer an opportunity to someone with Down’s syndrome we would love to hear from you, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.