Supports help Charlotte to serve up success

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For Charlotte Bailey, brewing up a big future through a job she loves is all in a day’s work.

Kicking goals with Eastlakes Football Club as a café assistant, the 23-year-old from Canberra is making every moment count.

Charlotte, who has Down syndrome, loves nothing more than wowing Eastlakes’ regulars with a smile and chat while learning new hospitality skills. 

‘I am a waitress. I do lots of different things like make coffee, serve meals, take orders, and clean the restaurant,’ Charlotte said.

‘I talk to visitors and make sure they are enjoying their meals. I love talking to people. 

Charlotte Bailey making a coffee

‘The visitors are always very friendly to me. I’ve won Employee of the Quarter for my good work and got a certificate and some gift vouchers to spend.’

Using her NDIS funding for Customised Employment supports, Charlotte’s on-the-job assistance has helped her transition into paid employment from a work experience role.

Receiving one-on-one support from NDIS provider, Koomari, during all her work shifts, Charlotte is building her confidence and independence and finding the right ingredients for success. 

‘My support helps me to be at work on time and ready to start my shift. They help me if I can't do something by myself,’ Charlotte said. 

‘They also talk to me about my shift and looked at things that were good and things that have been hard. It helps me to stay on track in my job and to have someone to support me through it every shift.

‘My Career Coach, Veronica, also talks to me about growing in my job and learning new things. She supports me by making me feel great about what I do and what I can keep doing and learning. 

‘If I didn’t have a connection with Veronica, I would not have a great job and good life.’

While loving her working life, Charlotte fills her cup with her favourite hobbies outside of the workplace. 

An avid singer and dancer, Charlotte also loves to get out and about to engage in fitness pursuits and socialising. 

Charlotte’s NDIS funding provides support workers, which she said helps her to get to and from work and into the community to do the things she loves. 

‘I use my funding to engage with the community. Being involved in activities with my peers is very important to me,’ Charlotte said. 

‘I like to spend time with friends, shopping, playing sports, and going to the gym. I like doing things that other people in the community like to do. Things that they can do without help, but I can do if I get help.

‘My parents work full-time and would not be able to support me in getting out to find a job, to keep me in that job or to do my shopping or participate in the programs I do.’

In the short-term, Charlotte loves working at Eastlakes Football Club and wants to continue to build her employment skills.

Applying those skills to her personal life, Charlotte is also working towards her long-term goal of increasing her independence outside of the home. 

Wanting to one day pay it forward in hopes of assisting others with a disability to find their passion, Charlotte said her NDIS funding made it all possible. 

‘I also want to help people with disabilities get a job like me,’ Charlotte said.

‘I love my life and I know the NDIS funding has helped me to build this great life. 

‘If I didn’t have funding, I would not be able to get help to keep my job or get help to be in the community doing things like everyone else.’