A BLACKBIRD Leys woman is celebrating landing her dream job helping others.

Tilly Woodley, who has a learning disability, never thought she would find paid employment, let alone a role in a care home that she loves.

The 21-year-old said: “When they offered me the job I was really, really shocked. I was speechless. I really like it here and feel very happy and settled.”

Ms Woodley, who works as a kitchen assistant two days a week at Brookfield Care Home in Little Bury, added: “I do all sorts of kitchen duties like washing up, peeling potatoes, prepping food and sandwiches.

“Sometimes, I help serve the residents and that helps me build up my confidence a bit more by talking to them. They are all lovely people.”

Her job success is all thanks to her own determination plus help from Oxfordshire County Council’s adult social care team at Oxfordshire Employment.

It has dedicated employment advisers who support people with long term health issues or disabilities to find and remain in employment.

Ms Woodley found her perfect job through a Supported Internship Programme – a partnership between Oxfordshire Employment, Mencap, Activate Learning and Abingdon and Witney College.

The scheme supports young people who have an education and health care support plan into work placements with an expectation of employment.

Before being offered the care home job, she spent 10 months taking part in a supported internship – three days a week in the work environment at the care home and one day a week at City of Oxford College.

Brookfield’s manager Christine Hamilton said: “It is really important that we recognise that as an employer we have a responsibility to support our local community in gaining the skills they need to enable them to have a meaningful career. I have been very impressed by the enthusiasm shown by our interns.”

Kate Terroni, director of adult social care at the county council, said the authority was ‘really proud’ of its employment service and the success it has with supporting people into work.

She added: “Having a job can often provide people with so much more than just an income; it provides many of us with a sense of identity and purpose.

Any business interested in working with Oxfordshire Employment is asked to contact 01865 815809 or email oes@oxfordshire.gov.uk