Active in Hell

One of the biggest challenges those with an intellectual disability face is other people’s perception of what they can and can’t do.

This programme called ‘Active in HELL’ is a six week programme, comprising of two paid, two hour sessions in a HELL store each week. The training enables these youths to learn and master the key skills required to work in a busy pizza store and provide valuable experience for future employment.

Since it started, 32 young people have completed the training course in stores from Auckland to Dunedin and HELL Pizza is now committed to putting 64 trainees through the programme each year.

The latest member of this programme is Emma Gollagher, who has become the third youth to work alongside the team at HELL Grey Lynn.

“Working with Emma has been a really rewarding experience for us all,” says HELL Grey Lynn franchisee Marty Richards. “She has been a pleasure to have on board and has picked up tasks really quickly. To top it off, she is such a character. She loves to entertain while getting the job done.”

Emma thinks working in HELL can be tough but rewarding. “I do lots of hard work but always get pizza for lunch, so it’s pretty cool!”

Emma has been accompanied through her training by Idea Services Support Employment Co-ordinator Karishma Beach. “Initially things can be quite hands-on for me in the first stages of training but Emma has shown a lot of confidence and independence, so my involvement has been kept to a minimum.”

Once Emma’s training is complete, she will receive a certificate signed by the HELL Pizza General Manager. IDEA Services staff will also discuss with her what she has learned and about the opportunities for her career to progress.

Last year an Active in HELL participant from Auckland gained permanent employment in the food services industry, while a number of others have opted to continue training beyond the Active in HELL programme.