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Posted by: Hurdle Customer Service
Last Updated: April 29, 2022

“With Hurdle’s support and encouragement, I have successfully achieved my employment goals and found the job of my dreams!”

Talk to NDIS participant, Jonathon Papadopoulos and you’ll hear how proud he is about his new role, employed three days a week at Hurdle, a NDIS Service Provider of supports and owner of the social enterprise, Hurdle Gardening & Lawn Care.

Now the 33-year-old, who has learning difficulties is working with a team who understand his conditions, and he’s being taught valuable building and social skills.

“I really love the job. I’m like an assistant to a lot of areas of the business. I work with a great team and participate in important decision-making activities.”

After eight years of working in various Australian Disability Enterprises, Jonathon was excited to get the chance to work in a job he wanted. “I packed showbags and other food items for many years, which was work but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Now receiving NDIS supports for Support in Employment, Jonathon was able to choose a provider that could help make his employment goals come true. “I chose Hurdle because they offered me an opportunity that I never had before. They encouraged me and helped me learn new skills and become more confident in my ability.” Through his chosen provider Hurdle, Jonathon got a taste of various work experiences to help build his skills.

“I started working for an online store in their customer service and orders area. My job was to print, pack and send orders out. I enjoyed the work, but it didn’t let me get involved directly with customers or participate in the business.’

During his first-year plan review, Jonathon redefined his goals becoming more specific about what he wanted to do at work. “I really wanted to learn how to type emails and answer phones, as well as engage with customers.” With support from his Hurdle Mentor, Jonathon learnt business etiquette skills including communication and computer skills.

“In November 2020 I was offered an opportunity to become a Customer Service Assistant for Hurdle. My responsibilities included answering phones and taking messages, filing documents, participating in meetings about marketing and advertising activities and interacting with other participants.”

Hurdle Managing Director, Paula Oliva, who witnessed Jonathon develop into a confident, determined, and hard-working young man, said working with Jonathon was a delight and gratifying. “He’s motivated and willing to learn new skills and take on more responsibilities. You will never find a more enthusiastic and diligent employee. It’s rewarding to see how far he’s come, and I encourage all businesses to employ people with disabilities.”

When asked what he was most proud of doing during his time at Hurdle, Jonathon replied Hurdle special projects. “I was involved in developing Hurdle’s website and provided feedback and made suggestions about what should be on there. The website looks great and it’s nice to know that I contributed to it.”

Like in any job, Jonathon has been given opportunities to increase his responsibilities and become more involved in other areas of the business. “I work with the Hurdle Gardening & Lawn Care team and help them with administration tasks like, filing job sheets and quotes, answering phones and emails, scheduling jobs and daily banking.”

Jonathon said his NDIS funding supports him with his work activities, and he wouldn’t be where he is today without it.

Having achieved his employment goal, when asked what’s next for Jonathon. “I want to continue doing well in my job and learn more. I like being a part of a team who acknowledge my contribution and where I’m paid for the work I do. It’s fun and rewarding.”

If you would like to know more about Jonathon’s journey with Hurdle, and how Hurdle can support your journey – Contact us today! Contact Us – Hurdle

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