A BUDDING barman has been commended by a restaurant for injecting a “breath of fresh air” into his work environment.

Every Tuesday at 11am, LVS Hassocks student Ben Farmer carries out work experience at Little Chef in Hickstead.

The 17-year-old is a student at LVS Hassocks, a school for young learners aged from eight to 19 with an autism diagnosis.

Since being at LVS Hassocks staff have worked with Ben to help him understand his difficulties and how to overcome them.

Ben has been set on a path to hopefully gain employment, learning how to apply his skills and identify his potential.

When Ben was asked where he would like to work, he chose popular fast food chain Little Chef.

LSV Hassocks staff contacted assistant manager James Middleton at the Little Chef in Hickstead, who spoke to his manager David Ide and the wheels were set in motion.

Mr Middleton said: “The students have been a huge help to us.

“The tasks they are carrying out are necessary and help us keep the restaurant running smoothly.

He added: “Ben is always very polite and professional.

“Working with the students from LVS has been a real breath of fresh air, they bring their own characters into work and make the job fun and enjoyable.” Staff at LVS Hassocks thanked the Little Chef management for going out of their way to support the students and help provide the work experience.

There are currently three students working various shifts in the Hickstead Little Chef by waiting tables, pot washing and clearing and cleaning tables as well as re-stocking and customer service.

When asked what his favourite part of his job was, Ben said: “I like making the drinks and serving the people, I also like working with the other staff here.”

Opened in 2009, LVS Hassocks is for children who have communication and imagination difficulties.

The school focuses on these life and employment skills so that when the students leave, they have the best chance of living as independently as possible.