Simon is 33 and has epilepsy and learning difficulties. After school, Simon went to Sparsholt College in Hampshire to study agriculture. With our help and support from his family, he is now self employed. See our short video to find out about Simon's business.

Simon talks about working for himself.

How we supported Simon to find a job

Getting Simon in touch with our vocational team

When Simon finished college he was too young to get insured to work in farming. He claimed Job Seekers' Allowance but without support he found it very difficult to find work.

Simon's dad contacted our Adult and Community Service. They passed him on to the vocational team. They work with people with learning disabilities to help them achieve their best.

Vocational support officer, Pat Sams, worked with Simon to help him find work. Pat asked Simon and his family to consider working for himself. If Simon got qualifications in horticulture, he could offer local gardening services. Pat reassured them she would support Simon and his dad to set up a basic system for keeping track of his money.

What did Simon do to set up his business?

Simon took a place on a Level 1 City and Guilds horticultural course at Kingston Maurward. He did very well and won horticultural 'student of the year'.

Alongside college, Pat did some sessions with Simon to help him to:

  • set up a basic 'money in' and 'money out' system
  • use a diary to record customer details, orders and hours worked
  • create invoices and organise receipts
  • open a business bank account
  • create leaflets to advertise his business

How is Simon getting on now?

Simon and his family are very happy with the way Simon's business has developed. It has given him more confidence, independence and a regular wage.