Jenna’s Supported internship story

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021
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Supported intern wearing a uniform standing in a professional kitchen

Jenna’s background

Jenna has a diagnosis of Autism which affects and limits her ability to socially interact with others. She finds it difficult to deal with any changes which take place, although she does realise change can also be a good thing at times. She is able to follow instructions well and fulfill tasks. 

Jenna attended Greenbank College after leaving Abbots Lea school in 2016. She studied and achieved Maths Entry Level 2, English Entry L3 and Food Preparation & Cooking Level 1. She spent time within the Greenbank College kitchen carrying out tasks including weighing out ingredients, cutting and preparing vegetables, cleaning all touch surfaces and served food and hot drinks to college staff and students.

About the Supported Internship role

To complement her interests and previous qualifications, Jenna was recruited into the Front of House Restaurant Assistant role with ISS at Broadgreen Hospital for her Supported Internship. She has a number of repetitive tasks that she completes on a daily basis including:

  • Wiping and sanitising restaurant tables
  • Clearing away dirty dishes and cutlery onto the trolley
  • Transporting and loading dishes into the dishwasher
  • Operating the dishwasher
  • Placing cleaned cutlery into trays
  • Replenishing the fridges and condiments


Jenna has improved in her confidence around others and is developing positive working relationships. She is learning new skills, including how to communicate with various people, the importance of listening and following instructions as well as learning how to deal with customers.

Jenna says:

“I feel very confident in myself and my job. I help keep the restaurant all clean and tidy, and the customers happy. I enjoy filling the chocolate stand up at the end of the day, chatting to other staff members and greeting the customers the most. If I need any help when I am working, I go to Sylvia, the Manager of the restaurant and she will help me with what I need to do. I also have other staff members around who can help me if I get stuck or confused. My Tutor and Job coach are available for any support I might need. ”

Jenna’s Mentor, Sylvia, said:

“Jenna has come on leaps and bounds since she started with us. At first I needed to repeat the tasks to be completed step by step numerous times before Jenna was confident enough to do herself, now she has very much grown in confidence, automatically completes her daily tasks without being asked or shown how and is now asking ‘what else needs to be done’. The progression she has made since starting is very clear to see.”

Jenna’s Line Manager, Rachel Cloonan, said:

“Jenna joined ISS in Broadgreen Hospital in January 2021. In the time Jenna has been with us, she has proven herself to be an excellent addition to our restaurant retail team. Jenna is keen to learn, very polite and is happy to try new tasks/ challenges. Most importantly, if Jenna doesn’t understand something, she is not afraid to ask questions, which I feel is a very conscientious and brave quality; always striving to get it right for herself, her team and the customer. Having Jenna with us during one of the toughest years any of us have experienced has been like a ray of sunshine. I am proud and privileged to have Jenna on our team.”