“Jolleen and Catherine have found their place…we’re so happy to see them taking steps forward every day.”

Monday, 26 March 2018

If anyone ever doubted that people with disability could find and maintain long-term jobs, think again. Local sisters Jolleen and Catherine are living proof that people with Down Syndrome can find great jobs and positively contribute to their local community.

We helped Jolleen and Catherine find jobs at Woolworths Narangba, where the girls have now been working for 11 years and 10 years respectively. During that period, the sisters have been involved in many different aspects of the business, from preparing biscuits in the bakery to restocking shelves.

During every shift, one of our support workers is onsite to assist Jolleen and Catherine in completing their tasks for the day. EPIC’s Maureen Winton has been supporting both sisters on-the-job for 8 years and has witnessed great changes and developments in both of them.

“Over the years the girls have continued to build independence in the workplace, which has been great to see,” said Maureen.

“They can transition between tasks now with minimal assistance and are confident and comfortable in approaching managers and staff to discuss tasks. They are also great at helping customers locate items, and often have customers seek them out to say hello.”

Jolleen and Catherine’s mum, Gail, could not be prouder of her daughters’ accomplishments.

“I’ve spoken with Gail at length over the years, and I know she firmly believes that EPIC has played a huge part in developing the girls’ independence,” said Maureen.

“If not for our continued support, Gail does not know what would have happened with the girls,” said Maureen.

Gail’s experience mirrors that of many parents across Australia, who remain unsure of what the future will hold for their children with disability.

Through assisting more young people with disability into the workplace, and helping to increase their wellbeing and independence, we can support parents across the country to breathe a collective sigh of relief over their children’s futures.

As for these two local sisters, the future looks bright.

“It’s been wonderful to see the girls embraced as part of the Woolworths Narangba team. The managers and staff over the years have all been very supportive,” said Maureen.

“Jolleen and Catherine have found their place in both the Woolworths and EPIC families, and we’re so happy to see them taking steps forward every day.”