On Tuesday 25 June, students, employers, friends, families, Carers, EmployAbility and Surrey Choices enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations at Denbies Wine Estate, for the annual EmployAbility Making a Difference Awards. Amongst 16 of this years winners, was Oxfam Bookshop in Guildford.
Oxfam Bookshop have been working with the EmployAbility service for over six years now. They have taken on many students giving them the opportunity to gain work experience and progress into receiving paid employment. Store manager, Said, told us these placements are very helpful and rewarding for the company as the students always work so efficiently and help the shop to keep busy and tidy. Said also spoke of how nice it is for him to see the students grow in confidence and gain practical skills.
All of the students we have worked with over the years have been a real asset to the business. They contribute to the day to day running of retail, building up relationships with customers and bringing customers back. They have always been so integral to what we do and how we do it, which is why other employers really should take up these work placement opportunities. It’s excellent! Everyone should make an effort because it helps on a personal level and business level.
We spoke to Tim who has been working at Oxfam for a year now. He has become the Shop Manager on a Sunday, and in October will become the Deputy Manager! He was really enthusiastic about the job and had learnt a great deal about how a charity works, and working in retail.
Working here has given me insight into the day to day running of a charity which requires lot of work. It has also lead to increase my own understanding of what the Oxfam really does in other countries like Indonesia. I always had a very good impression of Oxfam, and it has only got better since joining the team here in Guildford! I have learnt a range of new skills and gained great knowledge on how to operate in a book shop, checking books against external sources and using my own judgement and initiative. My role requires a lot of co-operating with people and contributing to a team which creates a really good working environment. I have also gained many transferable skills such as pricing and till work which I can carry on throughout my working life.
A very well done to Oxfam and Tim on your achievements and successes!
The Surrey Choices EmployAbility service support people with disabilities or additional needs to find and sustain work. For further information on Surrey Choices EmployAbility team and how they could support you into work please contact: 01483 806806 or email email@example.com