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Marie’s Success Story

Marie started at Little Gate Farm as one of our Young Rangers and is now making her way into an apprenticeship with our Supported Employment Team. ­­­­­­When Marie began as a Young Ranger, she put on a mask of confidence to hide her insecurities. She had difficulties processing language and has a learning disability.

A young woman (Marie) posing for a photo surrounded by friends.

Almost immediately though, Marie showed a really strong interest in being involved in the emergency services, particularly the fire department. This led to her eventually becoming an East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service​ Community Volunteer which filled her with pride. She was so excited to be included in the fire service team and to have her own uniform too! As part of this role, she took part in providing fire and road safety information and practical support to the local community​, helping on open days and supporting with ‘safety in action days’. This role began for Marie in 2017 and she is still doing it today.

A young woman (Marie) standing in front of three men from the fire service.A fire engine outside the fire station.

In October 2019, Marie became old enough to join our Supported Employment team and then secured a Traineeship at Hastings Borough Council, as part of the Tourist Information team. Within this role, Marie would do the following tasks:

– Help customers with questions and calls​

– Sorting out the leaflets, pricing the stock.  ​

– Directing the public to the right councillor​

– Research on local events and activities ​

– Photocopying and stock taking​

Marie continued to require support for some of the practical jobs, but nothing got in her way of having a great time and supporting the community. Unfortunately, this Traineeship then came to a premature end due to Covid-19. Because of the virus, Marie went into shielding which negatively affected her mental health as she was frustrated that she was no longer developing, but Little Gate did their best to continue providing support and activities for Marie that she could do at home.

A young woman (Marie) preparing a shop display.

However, now that Marie is no longer shielding, the future is looking bright yet again! Marie has successfully secured an apprenticeship at Elizabeth Court Rest Home as a carer, which she is really looking forward to. Marie has always been passionate to care for others, which was first found in her desire to work in the emergency services, and she will now be a front-line health worker in a time where they are needed more than ever! It’s so great to see her be a part of something she loves to be doing and fulfilling her dream.

Marie’s mum, Jolene answered the following questions:

How do you think getting a job will change Marie’s life?​

Marie values her independence and has wanted a job in the health & care sector for many years. Marie does have support needs but this in no way detracts from her having goals and ambitions, and like every other 23-year-old she wants to get on in life. This apprenticeship role will give Marie the scope to properly test out her skills and abilities and is a huge step forwards towards achieving her goal.


Has it changed how Marie thinks about herself?​

Marie wants to be “out there” helping others and making a difference. Sitting at home, with no challenges, watching others getting on with their lives and careers has been extremely demoralising for her. To have a job that she has achieved has put a spring back in her step and a smile on her face again. The knowledge that she is part of and contributing to society is so valuable and necessary to her sense of well-being.​