Seashell Trust's 10 out of 10: Shaquille Omonijo-Awofolu

Shaquille Omonijo-Awofolu and his quote re Seashell Trust

To celebrate our decade as Seashell Trust, we are sharing ten top people who have been at the heart of our family during the last ten years – staff, volunteers, supporters and most importantly our extraordinary students and their families.

Let us know who else you think is 10 out of 10!

Seashell is a springboard for each of our students to reach their full potential beyond the time they are with us and become ‘valued and valuable members of their communities’.

And for some that can mean becoming part of the workforce with the right training and support.

Former student Shaquille Omonijo-Awofolu, 22, attended Seashell Trust’s Royal College Manchester for three years and has learning difficulties with autism and epilepsy.

His mother Mobol said: “Seashell affects families so positively: an exceptionally high level of education and fantastic members of staff who are dedicated to the support of pupils and families.”

Shaquille spent a year on the college’s internship course as well as a two-year autism course. He took part in a variety of work placements which included factory packing, café work, collating and packing. He also collated all the conference packs for Seashell Trust’s national 'Listen to Me' conference earlier this year. 

Mobol said: “I never thought he would have engaged in numerous work experiences. He has become very happy and confident.”

At a placement with Manchester commercial property and business advisers Christie & Co last Christmas, his colleagues gave Shaquille a set of postage stamps cufflinks to reflect his role in collating and mailing – and his love of wearing smart shirts! 

The company were so impressed with him, they also offered him a permanent part-time paid position. Shaquille has a personal assistant who supports him through the week including during work hours. He is fully embedded in his team and is looking forward to this year’s company Christmas party.

Emma Baker, from Christie & Co, said: “Seashell Trust has supported us through every step of the process in placing one of its students in our company. From providing disability awareness training and advising us on appropriate tasks, to settling the student into their new role. It has continued to support us with regular communication and updates, further training in sign language, and providing a support worker to assist the student with their daily needs.

“For the Seashell programme to work effectively the key is finding the right student for the role. Shaquille has proved to be the perfect student for our needs; he is keen, hardworking, and thorough. We hope to continue to work with Seashell Trust going forward.”

Proud mum Mobol added: “He has progressed fabulously very well. The most memorable moments were my son playing in the college rock band and receiving awards. But the lasting impact is Shaquille now has secured gainful employment as a result of the confidence and social skills learnt at Seashell.”

For other businesses interested in taking a Seashell Trust student on placement, find out more here.