Big-hearted Lee Burke’s younger sisters were literary jumping for joy when the Bellshill man found himself a new job.
Lee (21) is one of the many success stories benefiting from Project Search which aims to increase the employment prospects for people with learning disabilities.
After graduating from the course he secured a six-month post with North Lanarkshire Council’s environmental services as a recycling assistant in Coatbridge.
And with his first pay packet he didn’t think of himself, buying Kirsty (7) her new school uniform and Abby (2) an enclosed trampoline.
His mum, Tracey, said: “Lee’s completely changed since he started his new job.
“His confidence has grown and it’s really pleasing to see. He works hard and has settled in well.”
Lee has a number of tasks to carry out including helping to direct the public with their waste, checking vehicles’ details to make sure they have booked and registered, and keeping the place clean and tidy.
He said: “This is my first job and I was a bit nervous before I started.
“I work four days on and four off and am really enjoying working and earning money.
“It’s nice that I can help look after my family and I hope that by getting this experience it will help me find other jobs in the future.”
Sharon McVey, locality leader with supported employment, added, “The support I now give to Lee is minimal. He gained valuable experience and skills through Project Search and was more than ready to take up his new job.
“It’s really pleasing to see young people enjoying the responsibility of a new job.”