Carina’s Story

“I’m an independent person who has achieved many goals”

I am a 35-year-old woman who lives independently and works part-time.

I feel that I am an independent person who has achieved many of the goals that I have set out to reach. I have a job that I love and live independently in a house I have shared for the last 3 years. I do my own shopping, cleaning and managing the house. I can do my own cooking but my dad often cooks us dinner as he works on the farm nearby us. I have family living nearby that I can walk to and I enjoy that. Where I am living now is more of a community than where I used to live. My neighbours are supportive by giving me lifts to the bus or train if I need it, as I live in the countryside.

I like having the independence of being able to choose how I live. I have a lovely modern home which has everything I need. I have my own separate TV, which I put on a timer at night so that I won’t leave it on all night if I fall asleep watching it.

“I love earning my own money”

I feel I am a hardworking person and have worked in a few different places but the job I am in at the moment is definitely the best one I have worked in. I love working because it allows me to meet new people. Also I would be bored sitting around every day if I wasn’t working.

I work in Busker Browns which is a busy pub and restaurant in Galway City. I have been working there for 5 years now. I was able to get this job as I was placed on the “Let’s Get to Work Project” in the Brothers of Charity Services Galway. An outreach support worker on this project helped me to think about what type of work I would like and what sort of things I was good at. We talked about the experience I had already gained in past jobs and also what I liked and disliked about those jobs which helped us realise what I was looking for.

I work two shifts every weekend and three if there is a bank holiday or busy period coming up. I take great care to make sure I am not too tired for work and always turn up with plenty of time to spare. Most of my work involves setting up the bar and restaurant for service, ensuring the serviettes are folded correctly, making sure all the condiments are filled up and also to have all the cutlery polished and separated, ready for service. I do these jobs as others are depending on what is required of me.

My favourite bit of the work is chatting to the people I work with when we are on breaks. We also have some social outings from work, like at Christmas and other times throughout the year. I always really enjoy these events. I love earning my own money. It’s my money, which I know I have worked hard for.

I really know my job well now and I am asked to train in new people into my job when I am due to go on annual leave from work.

Busker Browns – ‘Carina is great to work with. She is a fantastic worker and always comes into work in good form ready for a busy day with a smile on her face’.

“I love spending time with my boyfriend and friends”

I take part in adult education every year and we can choose courses that we would like to take part in and the areas I feel I would like to improve. I have done lots of courses which have helped me to live an independent life. These include courses on gardening, cooking, literacy, relationships and so on. Over the years I have received certification for many of these courses and after completing level 3 in some modules, I will be progressing to level 4 next year.

One of the great things about having a job is that I earn my own money. This has helped me to travel to places such as Malaysia and Australia, where I have been to visit family. I am hoping to travel to America next year.

Outside of work and education, I have loads of hobbies I enjoy. I have a boyfriend for five years and a great group of friends. We enjoy playing soccer and bowling together in our Special Olympics clubs. We also love playing basketball and going swimming. I meet up with my boyfriend and my friends every few days. I love spending time with them. We usually like to do things like going shopping, going to the cinema and eating out.