Mitch takes the express train to a new career

Mitchell (or Mitch as he prefers to be called) is a 21 year old man living with his carers, Linda & John Frost, since the age of nine. At the time they were foster carers but Linda and John wanted to continue supporting him as an adult so they transitioned with him to become PSS Midlands Shared Lives Carers.

Throughout his life Mitchell has experienced first-hand how it feels to face barrier after barrier and the disappointment of having people telling him, ‘you cannot achieve things others find ordinary’ or being excluded from every-day regular activities just because people had no understanding of his condition and how to approach him, and not enough patience in order to adjust means, resources, explanations, processes etc in order for Mitch to feel and be included.

Nevertheless Linda & John would just ‘’ Not have it’’, every time a barrier was there for Mitch they would also be there to help him find a way around it. Mitch’s dream since childhood was to work at the railway and here is his story as he has expressed it himself:

‘’Hi my name is Mitchell Grant.

I have lived with Linda and John Frost for 11 years, I was in foster care. I wanted to stay with Linda and John when I reached 18 years old I then moved over to PSS and happily stay with Linda and John.

Since the age of 8 I have always wanted to work with the railway, I love trains I have always told Linda and John how much I love trains, I would love one day to work on them.

Linda and John have always listened to this I did tell school and College but I get kept getting told I couldn’t do it for health and safety reasons because I have a learning difficulty. Linda and John did not settle for this and said that I should have the same chance and choice as anyone else should, so they contacted the careers officer, she came to see us all and said she had heard of volunteering at Kindsgrove station, she promised that she would talk to them and see if it is possible for me to do that. She got back to us after a week and said yes they were willing for me to go there and she even offered to support me there for the first few weeks.

I then got spotted by East midlands train’s manager because I was doing that well and there was a pilot scheme coming up, which started September 4th to October 4th , the pilot scheme was to get people with special needs to come into the railway industry and we achieved that over the next four weeks. The manager also said a couple of weeks ago, that there are 2 new people waiting to start work there now, both with learning difficulties.

A couple of months after I finished that training I had a phone call saying there was a Saturday job at Sheffield, doing train cleaning 9-5 and it was mine if I wanted it, so I said yes and I have been doing it every Saturday since December the 7th 2015. They said in a years’ time I could be working on board, doing on board stuff such as cleaning tables and taking cups.

I have achieved this with determination from myself and support from Linda and John, they said if I had a dream, ‘’I should go for it’’ so I did, and they supported me all the way

This was Mitch’s touching story, a story which comes to prove that our service user’s get the individualised support they need in order to achieve their dreams on the road for independent living.
From every one of us in PSS, a very big ‘well done’ to Mitch for his resilience, dedication and determination to make his dream come true and a very big well done to his carers Linda and John for giving him all the support and guidance in order to make his dream reality…