Over the past year, we have helped 900 people with autism or a learning, physical or sensory disability to find work placements through our Surrey Choices EmployAbility service.
The success of the service was celebrated recently at our Making a Difference awards where we highlighted what a difference being within a work environment can make to our customers lives. However, it’s not just our customers who have seen the advantages – some of the biggest employers in the country have benefitted from adding hard working, enthusiastic and skilled individuals to their teams.
The Silent Pool Distillers is a new artisan distillery nestled under the North Downs in Albury, Surrey. It specialises in entirely hand-crafted spirits using a range of botanicals – fruits, flowers, spices, herbs – to capture the essence of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the bounty of English orchards, gardens and hedgerows. Silent Pool Gin is now exported across Europe and soon to the US, as well as available nationally and at local farmer’s markets.
We presented the distillery with a Making a Difference award in recognition of its support for Robert Pink, who has autism.
Robert, 23, began working at Silent Pool Distillery part time but got on so well that he was able to give up his voluntary part time work in Cranleigh and become a full- time member of staff. His life has been transformed thanks to the job opportunity and the camaraderie of the distillery workplace.
Robert Pink has become independent and has grown in confidence since joining Silent Pool Distillers. The team have made him feel so comfortable and have been very accommodating. He enjoys all of his tasks but says his favourite one is to wrap the glasses they sell.
One of the highlights for Robert and a testament to how far he’s come is the fact that he was able to attend the Christmas party, something he would have struggled to do prior to his employment as his confidence has grown so much.