When 19-year-old Rob began working at the Lysaght Institute in Newport, he found a job he could throw all his passion and enthusiasm into.

After meeting Shelly from Linc’s Community Regeneration team at a community event, Rob started receiving employment support. As Shelly explains, “I first met Robert when he was volunteering with his mum Caroline (also a Linc tenant and active member of the community).

We were presenting Steel Remembered at Newport Library & Museum and I was enchanted by his enthusiasm and knowledge of WW1, particularly weaponry. I admired how polite and engaging Robert was with visitors to the exhibition and wanted to learn more about him. We got chatting, something we’re both very good at, he was very open about his autism, his hopes and dreams and plans to start work and earn his own money, and I knew I wanted to support him in any way I could.”

Rob’s journey into employment began with a volunteering opportunity at the Lysaght Institute. A knowledgeable gardener, on his first day as a volunteer Rob was out in the Lysaght grounds sprucing up the flowerbeds, deadheading, watering and planting.

Volunteering soon turned into employment for Rob as his enthusiasm and work ethic were clear to see. Just a quick walk from home, Rob’s new workplace suits him well; “I just find it so awesome, my work experience was here and now I work here. I remember saying at the time that I was doing work experience that I would love to work here, and now I do!”

Regularly working shifts at events like weddings and conferences, helping to set up and assisting with bar service, Rob has settled in well to his new role; “Awesome, I love it here.