“Don’t let Dyslexia hold you back” is the message from twenty six year old Nathan Beatty from Lisburn during Dyslexia Awareness Week.

Nathan was diagnosed with having Dyslexia at primary school and has always been determined to succeed in life backed by the encouragement of his mum.  After leaving Beechlawn School in Hillsborough, Nathan went on to study joinery at SERC in Lisburn but realised this was not the route he wanted to take.  Having heard about the support available through Stepping Stones NI he approached our Employment team for support to get a job.

“I asked the team at Stepping Stones NI if they could help me find a job.  I knew I needed a job that did not require me to read or spell and so my job coach helped me to look for suitable jobs that I felt I could do.  Back in 2017 I was successful at getting a job as a car valeter which I enjoyed and suited my lifestyle at the time” says Nathan.

Here at Stepping Stones NI we pride ourselves in our strength of support to clients and employers.  Nathan is one such client who we have worked with over the last few years to look for and secure suitable employment. His Employment Officer, Gerard Haughey talks about the support we have provided to Nathan:

“As Nathan’s situation has changed our team have worked with him closely to find employment.  Nathan came back to us at the start of 2020 to seek support in finding employment that fitted in with him being a dad. He wanted a job he could do at night so that he could look after his little boy during the day.  I found great pleasure in providing one-to-one support to Nathan on this occasion.  Together we looked for jobs that he felt he could be successful at. We identified the role at Hovis for Nathan and worked together to apply for the position in February 2020.  As Nathan cannot read or write he dictated the information required for his application form to which I wrote out.  Nathan was successful at securing the position at Hovis and we worked with management to make reasonable adjustments to the role with Nathan starting employment quite amazingly at the beginning of a global pandemic” says Gerard.

Nathan has great words of encouragement for others who are keen to seek employment with Dyslexia and says “You can pretty much do anything if you put your mind to it, never be afraid to ask for help – there is no shame in asking someone to read something out for you or to show you were things are. The support I received from Stepping Stones NI was essential, it was the support that made the difference.  You will always be a little nervous when starting a new job but getting the support you need can take a lot of the nerves away and help you to enjoy your work and progress”.

Nathan’s manager Declan Lavery at Hovis is delighted with Nathan’s approach to his work and comments “I would like to commend Nathan for his reliability, flexibility and commitment at work I’m glad he is enjoying his job at Hovis”.

One in 10 people in the UK have some degree of dyslexia (British Dyslexia Association, 2020) that’s around 6.3 million people.  People with Dyslexia often have other conditions including dyscalculia (difficulties with numbers) ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), (Gov.uk, 2020). Every day we provide support to people with Dyslexia and other conditions to find work and stay in work. We support around 250 people each year through or social enterprises and services. If you or someone you know could benefit from support get in touch with us today by calling Carla Bowyer on 07717738804 or alternatively via email at Carla.bowyer@stepping-stones.org.uk.