When the Hastings Club needed to expand their team, club manager Cam reached out to his network for recommendations.
He was approached by a then-employee of APM, who said they might have just the right person for him.
With a self-described love of helping and supporting his local community, Cam was open-minded about meeting a job seeker with a disability to see if they were the right fit for the club.
“I think, you know, going outside the box sometimes can work for a club” Cam said.
When Mel was mentioned to Cam, he thought it would be a good idea to have an initial meeting.
At that first meeting, everyone was honest and upfront from the start of what blossomed into a successful relationship – and a job for Mel.
“Everything was put on the table at the initial meeting, so everyone knew what was expected, so there was no surprises” Cam recalls.
It didn’t matter to Cam that Mel had been out of work for some time, he saw that she had the determination to return to work despite hardship and wanted to give her a chance.
“She had some health concerns, but what I saw in Mel was she approached APM to get back into the workforce, which is pretty much the battle” he said.
“She wanted to work so why not give her a try?”
Mel has become a dynamic addition to the club’s kitchen, assisting the chefs to prepare and cook food, becoming like part of the family according to Cam.
With support from APM Employment Services, Cam and the Club have seamlessly been able to include Mel into their team.
“The communication between APM and the club has been fantastic. Nothing’s been too hard” Cam said.
When asked what he would say to other employers considering hiring a person with disability, his words cut straight to the chase.
“You know, you can sit there and say it’s (in) the too hard basket, but some of your best employees were probably the most challenging at the start. If you can adapt to that they can continue and it sort of builds the foundation for a really good culture within your employment.”