Education: London South East Colleges

A love of motorbikes and bicycles is propelling a young man with autism towards a dream job.

When Gary White moved into South Road in Forest Hill in June 2018, he brought with him two motorbikes, three bicycles and a passion for looking after them.

After discussions with Agnes Oleskiewicz, who leads the team at South Road care team, Gary decided to enrol on a motorcycle maintenance course at London South East College’s Greenwich Campus.

He hopes this will set him on the road to a career as a mechanic.

The workshop classes take place in purpose-built college facilities where students use the latest industry standard tools, equipment and current model motorcycles to learn, develop and practice the skills required for employment and successful career progression.

Gary, 23, already has a driving licence, and enjoys riding one of his motorbikes. The other one is a work in progress. This enables him to put his newly-acquired maintenance skills to use in his spare time.

Agnes said: “Gary is passionate about all kinds of bikes and is never happier than when he’s working on them.

“Because he’s serious about wanting to make a career out of this he is also motivated to study college courses that will give him the other qualifications he’ll need in English and maths.

“Once he is qualified, he will be able to apply for a job doing what he really loves, and that is exactly the sort of support we aim to give people so that they can live life to the full.”

The team at South Road – a service run by the Regard Group – is also supporting Gary to develop his independent living skills, especially around budgeting, shopping and cooking.

Agnes added: “Gary understands how important it is to manage your money properly, and he has a good eye for a bargain when we support him to do his food shopping.

“He is also developing a good range of cooking skills and produces some really delicious meals.”

Regard cares for more than 1,300 people nationwide, with a dedicated staff of around 2,600 people at 167 specialist residential and supported living services, outreach support and day resource centres.

To find out more go to www.regard.co.uk or contact Vicky Hodgson on 07734 538156.

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