Mytime Active 20th Birthday - Member's stories

Mytime Active’s Pavilion Leisure Centre is part of a government-funded, MENCAP-run work experience scheme, helping encourage students with special educational needs from South London College into the workplace.

Harvey King, 22, came to the Pavilion last year for weekly work experience. He has dyspraxia, autism and learning disability. After spending a year doing work experience Harvey has gone on to become a Mytime Active employee, working in the Pavilion bar and restaurant every Wednesday.

“When I first met Harvey, he was exceptionally shy and quiet. He made little to no eye contact and didn’t interact with staff or customers,” says Pavilion centre manager, Ian Simpson. “In no time at all Harvey came out of his shell; within weeks he was more confident, serving customers with no help from other staff. Harvey had a MENCAP job coach on site with him, but the Pavilion staff can take a lot of credit for his progress. They always made sure he was doing things for himself, while encouraging him in the background.

“It’s a pleasure to see how Harvey has grown, matured and developed as part of the scheme. He has so much more confidence and is incredibly pro-active in his approach to work. He’s come on so much that he is now mentoring another SEN work experience student, Stephen, via the scheme. Harvey has taken it upon himself to help Stephen; he’s really taken him under his wing and is helping to train him. It’s good to see how they adapt to encourage each other.”

“Working at the Pavilion has been a big help to me,” says Harvey. “I feel more confident and speak out more. Before the scheme I was very shy and not very confident at all, but working at the Pavilion has helped me overcome this. I love making drinks and serving the customers; it’s good to have a job I enjoy.”

“The good thing about Harvey is he takes everything on board,” adds Ian. “Once he’s been told how to do something, I’m confident he’ll do it that way 100% of the time! To see where he is now compared to where he was is amazing. He’s one of the team now; he comes to work and gets on with his day, like everyone else does.”

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