Customer Matthew shares his experience in the commercial cleaning team

Customer Matthew shares his experience in the commercial cleaning team

I signed up for Activ’s commercial cleaning enterprise because I was looking for some variety in my work. I like to feel I have done a hard day’s work and I thought this was a good opportunity for that. I’ve worked with Activ in supported employment for years, mostly in timber production.

When I joined the cleaning enterprise it was explained that I would be working with team members who had a disability and some who didn’t have a disability, and that we were all equal team members and would work to become as independent as possible.

I met my team mates and we did an induction. During our training we learned how to clean and plan our jobs. Our supervisor kept talking about “learning to work more independently” and how the program progresses us to take on more and more responsibility.

I’ve enjoyed working in the team. I work two days per week, with different team members on each day. I like the fact that we divide the work and plan how it is happening by ourselves rather than the supervisor doing it. This is really different to what I do at supported employment. The team knows what is expected of the whole job and we talk to each other to prioritise the work. We also offer help to each other, as needed. I’ve learned that by working with people with and without a disability, I can adapt and feel more confident when talking to all team members.

The most important thing I have gained is confidence. I know I am good at my job, and I use my initiative and manage my own time. I know I can take on more responsibility. It has opened my mind to new things I could try. I hadn’t thought about mainstream work before, but now I think about it. In September 2019 I tried some casual mainstream work cleaning the toilets for the City of Kelmscott. This was just for a couple of weeks, but they liked my work and had no complaints. I knew what I had to do and how to do it.

We are growing the cleaning enterprise and as we get more work I will increase my days – getting even better at my skills. My supervisor keeps pushing me and I like it.

Matthew Cole
Commercial Cleaning team member

Matthew smiles at the camera while emptying the bin