We were delighted to celebrate the success of our EmployAbility service at our recent awards event where we highlighted what a difference being within a work environment can make to our customers lives.
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. 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.
Our ‘Making a Difference Awards’ event was held at the picturesque Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking and had a great turnout with over 200 people attending. One of the award winners was Waitrose in Cobham for the support and opportunities they have provided to our customer Kristof Nemeth.
Waitrose is the supermarket division of the John Lewis Partnership and Britain’s largest employee-owned retailer. Waitrose prides itself on being different. Their intention is to combine the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist food shop. Add this to their unswerving dedication to their customers and the highest respect for their suppliers (the provenance and traceability of our food is vital) and, of course, the environment and you can start to see they’re a bit more than ‘just’ a supermarket.
The Partnership is an open and inclusive employer that actively seeks to recruit from all parts of the communities in which they trade and, wherever possible, the make up of their workforce is genuinely representative of those communities.
Kristof works full time at the Cobham store, where he operates the tills, works on the fresh produce section and locks up trolleys at the end of his shifts.
The team at Waitrose have given him the confidence to be able to succeed and as a result he is a different person. Kristof worked really hard to get a job at Waitrose as he started off doing work experience at the store and helped out with late night shifts on the run up to the Christmas rush. His hard work paid and enthusiasm was noticed by the manager and he was offered paid employment. The Waitrose team have taken time to support Kristof to learn new tasks and have showed him that he is capable of doing anything.
The Waitrose team said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award and proud that Kristof is part of the Waitrose Cobham team. “