DEAF student Darren Hilton is making a name for himself in the hotel industry thanks to the work experience programme at Communication Specialist College Doncaster.

Darren, aged 20 from St Helens, started working on a project with the college’s Enterprise Team to make cheese boards and canapes platters which they sold to Mount Pleasant for use at the hotel.

He then expressed an interest in learning more about the hotel industry and with the help of the work experience team was set up with a placement.

Suzie Beaumont who runs our work experience programme at Communication Specialist College Doncaster said: “We work hard with our students to find them suitable work placements. It can sometimes be difficult to arrange as organisations do not always have the support in place that they might need to welcome a student who is deaf or has communication difficulties.

“Darren, who is profoundly deaf, started at Communication Specialist College Doncaster in 2014 with limited sign language skills.

“Darren was unsure about the area of work he was interested in, therefore he had a very varied timetable including: Joinery, IT, Motor Vehicle along with some Personal and Social development classes and English and Maths.

“As his confidence grew Darren was able to complete a number of work placements. His most recent placement saw Darren undertake two full days of work experience. He gained a placement at a Doncaster 4-star hotel, the Mount Pleasant hotel, working in the maintenance team.

“He works as part of team on a variety of tasks such as: plumbing repairs, gardening/ grass cutting, fence repairs. He has been offered occasional paid work at weekends, which he relishes. His confidence and communication skills have grown significantly. Darren has thrived in this work environment.

“It has been great to work with Mount Pleasant, who have also adopted us at their chosen charity for the year, to help Darren to gain experience of working in a hotel. We are thrilled to announce that Darren has now been offered a job at the hotel following his work experience and he is over the moon!”

Communication Specialist College Doncaster provides specialist education for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or have communication difficulties.

Darren said: “I’m really enjoying working at Mount Pleasant Hotel, all of the staff are really friendly and it is a great place to work. I am really pleased to have been offered a job as I love working there.”

Debbie Cantwell, from Mount Pleasant said, “Darren is a really hard working young man and we are pleased to have him on board. The team from the college have been very supportive and have helped us along the way. We would definitely recommend that organisations work with them to offer work placements.”