A Frome based branch of Co-Operative Group has won an award from Somerset County Council for its long-term commitment to employees with learning difficulties.
The County Council’s Aspire service that helps adults with learning difficulties find employment, has given Co-op the award in recognition of the company’s long-term work and commitment towards people with learning difficulties as well as its openness to try new things.
Aspire gives people with learning difficulties the training they need to become employable as well as offering on-going support to help them keep their jobs.
Lindsey, an employee of the Culverhill Co-op in Frome since 2009, presented her Store Manager Rob Peacock with the ‘Employer of Choice’ Certificate in recognition for the store’s inclusive and positive manner that ensures a diverse workforce.
In recent months Lindsey has completed online and practical training, which has given her the opportunity to develop her knowledge and skills and have more variety within the workplace. Aspire have been working alongside the Co-op to support with the training.
Lindsey said: “I feel so proud to work for the Co-op and I’ve grown in confidence.”
Cllr William Wallace, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Services to People with Learning Disabilities, said: “Co-op have a refreshingly positive attitude towards people with Learning Disabilities and are worthy winners of the Aspire ‘Employer of Choice’ Award.
“I hope news of this award will inspire other employers to play their part in breaking down the barriers which unfairly prevent many capable people from working.”
The same Co-op branch has also provided a recent opportunity for a young woman to have retail work experience for one full week. Due to the excellent support she received from the whole staff team during this week she then went on to start a career in retail.
Any company in Somerset interested in finding out more about Aspire can contact Rose Langan on 01749 822510 / 07881 283000 or by emailing: RLangan@somerset.gov.uk.