Work Experience

Work Experience

We recognise that if someone has been out of work or training for a while, they will need support to gain confidence and recognise the skills they already have. Our work placements are tailored to the individual, we work with the person to identify their strengths and help support them towards work, training or volunteering.

We welcome people aged 18+ with low level mental health issues, disabilities and hidden disabilities. We are all-inclusive and non judgemental and will adapt the placement to meet an individual’s needs.

In addition to the work experience placement we offer employability support and the opportunity for a volunteer mentor.

Work placements must be 18+ and take place in our Norwich store. To find out more about work experience placement opportunities please email Laura on

Case Studies

Gentle reassurance in a supportive and encouraging environment helped Poppy progress towards her career goals. Poppy had a loving and happy childhood but had experienced a series of personal challenges between the ages of 16-19 which left her with no self-confidence and felt she would never be ‘good enough’ to be offered a job.  Poppy’s hours were set around public transport and she began with short days and the reassurance that she could take a break at any time if she felt overwhelmed or extremely anxious.  Within a couple of weeks Poppy was a changed person as she realised she was better than ‘good enough’ at many things, especially customer service.  As her confidence grew New-U staff helped her update her CV and apply for jobs.  After 8 weeks Poppy was offered part time work in a retail setting.  Since then, she has moved into full time office work as her skills and confidence continue to grow.

Marcus has dyspraxia and dyslexia, lacked work experience and the ability to evidence capability and reliability to prospective employers. As soon as we met Marcus we knew he had great potential, but because he is quiet with a tendency to underplay his strengths, he had received many knock backs from employers. Working in a small team gave Marcus the confidence to share his opinions; he knew he would be listened to without being judged. He travelled in by bus alone, something he had not done before, and the New-U Team spent time with Marcus looking at apprenticeships and training schemes which would allow him to progress at his own pace. Marcus continued to be a regular volunteer alongside completing a retail and a food hygiene training programme.

Aiden needed to realise his transferable skills to lift the depression holding him back 3 years after graduating from university. Aiden had a few interviews after returning home, but was never successful. He understood from feedback that what appeared to be his lack of interest in the roles, was preventing him from being successful. This alongside mild Asperger’s meant his confidence was at rock bottom. He had no previous work experience so could not evidence that once given a task, he could and would complete it. Identifying his strengths; computer and research skills, we asked Aiden to help us develop new stock control systems and to translate swap numbers into environmental statistics. Due to limited space, he mostly did this on the shop floor, which resulted in Aiden having to communicate with customers. Hearing Aiden compliment a customer on how an item suited them was a highlight as his phobia of some clothing means he has always avoided this subject before. Aiden is now earning money collecting and recycling household items, an interest he had not identified before coming to New-U.

Customer feedback: “My mum and I regularly use your shop and I wanted to say how impressed we were with the young man who was working behind the till today. We could tell he was perhaps nervous and not too comfortable dealing with people. He came across as really confident, really polite and made our visit really lovely”

Before Harley started his work placement, he was socially isolated, having spent the best part of 5 years in his bedroom.  Working hours and tasks were kept flexible and his preference was to be behind the scenes in the stockroom. Gradually we introduced him to the shop floor and, as the testimony above proves, Harley now confidently serves and speaks to customers. Despite still suffering with anxiety, he has developed strategies to overcome this whilst in the shop. Harley has made steps towards independence and employment and regularly remarks at the huge positive difference this opportunity has made to his life.

Family feedback: “Thank you so much for what you have done for Harley, he is a changed young man, who comes home smiling and talking enthusiastically about his day.  You actually listen to him and are interested in what he has to say, he absolutely loves coming to work with you.”

Alice is 18 years old and lives in Cromer.  Alice has educational special needs and was referred to us by Sidestrand School who provide specialist facilities for students with complex needs.

Alice started her 6 week placement in our New-U Cromer store in May 2022.  When Alice first started she was very quiet and shy.  Over the course of the placement she really grew in confidence and got involved with many of the shop tasks such as allocating points to customers on our database, pointing out items for the shop floor and serving customers using the till.

Our Shop Manager Carla said: “Alice is a lovely girl and loves coming here on her work placement. I do feel she has benefited greatly coming to us and grown in confidence. She is so much more chatty now than when she first started.”

Alice enjoyed her placement so much with New-U that she has decided to stay on as a volunteer and support the teams in Cromer and Norwich.  She says: “I have learned so much and now I have more confidence to talk to people.  I have developed my communication skills by serving customers, giving out points and taking in donations. I will be attending City College in Norwich three days a week  starting this month which I am really looking forward to and will continue to volunteer for New-U in my spare time.”

Alice’s mum Louise says: “It has been a genuine pleasure to see how Alice has blossomed as she has transitioned  into the adult world of work.”


A typical work placement is for a few hours each week for 4 weeks on a set day or time Tues-Sat 10-1 or 1.30-4.30.  We aim to give as much flexibility as possible.

Register Your Interest

If you’re interested in doing a work placement with us then please contact us at and we will be in touch to arrange a day and time suitable for you.