Sam gains new life skills with NDIS

For Sam, going to work is about improving his community in any way he can.

A Customer of Maxima’s NDIS Youth Employment program, Sam is active around the Port Pirie area volunteering at Port Pirie Community Centre as part of Uniting Country SA and undertaking work experience with Port Pirie Regional Council as a member of the Greening and Recreational Team.

Beginning with Maxima in 2020 in the Youth Employment program while completing his studies at John Pirie Secondary School, Sam undertook Employment Skills and Workplace Behaviour training – in preparation for his new roles.

As part of the Greening and Recreational Team Sam was tasked with the conservation of Memorial Park in the Rose Garden, giving him practical hands-on experience working outside with support provided by Maxima.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 Sam’s time with the council was put on hold at the end of last year, but with the help of his consultant Vanessa, in no time at all Sam was up and going again, this time with Uniting Country SA as part of their Tasty Tucker program, again with support from Maxima.

Assisting with food preparations and customer service, Sam is gaining practical work-related skills while working in an employment environment – and having an amazing time doing it!

Community Liaison Officer for Port Pirie Community Centre, Annabel Buchanan, said Sam had fit in perfectly and always brought joy to the other volunteers and customers.

“Sam has been fantastic, and the volunteers have loved having him in the kitchen. He has been great to have – he is always engaging and talking with customers when they come to get their food,” Annabel said.

Now also back at Port Pirie Regional Council following the COVID-19 hiatus, Sam continues to take on every task with a smile and an eagerness to learn what he can from both workplaces.

It has been a long journey for Sam after leaving high school feeling lost and uncertain about his future, Maxima has helped him understand what it takes to work and where he wants to go.

“First, I want to complete work experience with the Council and learn everything I can,” Sam said.

“I would like to seek paid employment, part-time in Gardening and Horticulture and continue volunteering at Port Pirie Community Centre.”

“Maxima has helped me become more independent getting out into the community, broadened my knowledge through community involvement and made me feel more confident and valued.”