Thanks to House with No Steps, Susy now works in a business that provides employment for people with disabilities.
“At House with No Steps you’ll find one of Australia’s happiest workforces,” said Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew recently on Channel 7’s Sunrise.
“The organisation employs over 500 people with disabilities, including my new friend Susy.”
Susy Yates has a glowing smile and an infectious giggle. She has been working in the packaging team at House with No Steps for seven years after a deeply upsetting experience with bullying at her previous job.
After she left school, a disability agency sent Susy, who was born with Down syndrome, to work in a supermarket. But, she explains, “My boss was mean to me. He kept asking me to do things that I couldn’t physically do. So on that day I stayed in the toilet until I went home. It was a very bad experience.”
The episode was a major setback for Susy and, sadly, she was unable to work for the next three years.
But everything changed after Susy arrived at House with No Steps. The organisation, which provides employment for people with a disability, offered Susy a supported position at its packaging business in Belrose, Sydney.
When Employee Services Manager Joanne Monk first met Susy, she was shy and quiet. But after working at House with No Steps, “Susy has blossomed. Her self-confidence has gone through the roof,” Joanne says. It’s where she became the cheerful, smiling Susy her colleagues and friends know and love today.
“This is where I experience being happy and being my own person,” she told Edwina on Sunrise. “My work is my world.”
To get a full appreciation of just how infectious Susy’s laugh is you have to watch her interview on Sunrise.
Not only does Susy love her work, but she’s experiencing plenty of success there, too. She recently achieved her Certificate III in Process Manufacturing, and was overjoyed to be named Employee of the Year.
Joanne of House with No Steps believes meaningful work is vital for everyone: “To get up every day and feel valued for the work that you do, I think that’s important for everyone, whether you have a disability or not,” she says. “It does wonders for anyone – learning you can do things you didn’t think you could do.”
But, of course, learning new and useful skills has much more impact if you’re used to being defined by the things you can’t do: “People with a disability often question themselves and their own abilities,” Joanne says.
This is what House with No Steps can offer Susy and other adults with a disability: a chance to do valued work in a supportive environment.
So, Susy’s learnt valuable work skills along with her newfound self-assurance, but even more than that, House with No Steps has also empowered her to follow her dream of creating a cook book.
“The kitchen is where I’m inspired,” Susy said with a huge smile, as she taught Sunrise presenter Edwina to make her spring salad.
Susy and Edwina in the House with No Steps kitchen. House with No Steps provides employment for people with disabilities.
Susy has loved cooking ever since she watched her mother bake at home. But now, with the confidence she’s gained through working at House with No Steps, her dream is to write her own cookbook. She’s already published her first recipe, so why not?
Her Spring Salad is delicious, healthy and simple to make – you should download the recipe give it a try.