Warrington care village, Belong Warrington, and Remploy, a specialist employment services provider, are collaborating in an effort to create more opportunities for individuals with disabilities and long-term conditions in the North West.
Remploy, whose services provide support for people facing complex barriers to employment, and specialist care village, Belong Warrington, joined forces in 2014 and have so far secured a number of successes, with ten former Remploy candidates having successfully acquired jobs supporting the village’s 70 residents.
Speaking of the partnership Phil Orton, Head of People at Belong, commented: “We operate a unique model of care and we’re always looking for the right people to help us deliver a broad range of services to our residents. In a challenging employment market, Remploy has given us access to people who are both motivated and committed, and have been fully assessed as highly suitable for the jobs we offer. The fact that some of our new employees have disabilities or health conditions is irrelevant – each one has proved they are capable of contributing to the lives of our residents and to our organisation.”
To prepare the candidates for employment at Belong, Remploy has invested in the development of a two-week course designed to offer an insight into the requirements of a job in the care sector, including working with people with dementia and assisting them with their day-to-day needs and activities.
Carl Bashford, 28, is partially sighted and had been unemployed for four years prior to completing the training with Remploy. Now, Carl is working with Belong Warrington as a host, where his role is to help residents to maintain their independence and support them as they prepare meals.
Speaking of his experience with Remploy and Belong, Carl said: “Before starting at Belong, I tried very, very hard to get a job but it was an uphill struggle. I always want to be in employment, so I really value this opportunity. Remploy’s care course gave me an insight into what would be expected of me at Belong and I was able to approach my job interview with more knowledge and confidence than I had before, which really helped me to secure the position.”
Remploy representative, Rob Knowles, who helped to establish the partnership with Belong, added: “We work with a number of progressive companies, managed by people willing to look beyond disability and see the greater value that a diverse workforce can bring. Throughout our discussions, Phil and his team expressed a desire to employ local people, with disabilities or otherwise, and this gave us the confidence to work with training providers to establish our care course. The result is that ten people who have faced challenges in gaining employment now have fantastic jobs, and we’re already supporting the next group as they consider careers in care.”