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Wood-B trainee Dean secures paid employment

20 May 2016

Dean Wright, a trainee at the Wood-B carpentry workshop in Tondu run by Awen Cultural Trust, is proving that disability is no barrier to a career in retail.

The 26-year-old from Bettws has successfully secured paid employment at Poundstretcher in Bridgend, thanks to a partnership between Awen Cultural Trust, Bridgend County Borough Council and ELITE Supported Employment Agency Ltd.

As part of an eight-week work awareness course with ELITE, Dean undertook work experience at the town centre store. They were so impressed that towards the end of his placement, Dean was offered three months of paid work for a few hours each week. 

Dean’s role involves working in the warehouse, stacking shelves, disposing of empty cardboard boxes and helping to keep areas of the shop clean and tidy. Poundstretcher have arranged for Dean to work alongside a ‘buddy’ who supports him with these tasks.

Since 2011, Dean has been a trainee with Wood-B, a carpentry project which, like its sister project B-Leaf, provides training opportunities for adults with disabilities and inspires them to achieve their full potential and give them the confidence to lead and sustain independent lives.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, the charity which runs Wood-B, said: “The team at Wood-B work very hard to provide the trainees with a wide range of transferrable skills, which are needed in paid employment but many of us take for granted, including the structure of a working day and basic health and safety. It is excellent news that Poundstretcher has recognised Dean’s commitment to work, and are giving him this well-deserved opportunity.”

John Rawlinson from ELITE said: “Our role is to help adults with disabilities access and maintain paid employment, so it is fantastic news that Dean made such a great impression at Poundstretcher that they wanted to reward him for his hard work. We’ve also provided Dean with travel training to enable him to catch the bus from Bettws to Bridgend, which will help develop his independence even further.”

Dean added: “I am enjoying working at Poundstretcher. The staff are really friendly and I like meeting the customers. I am saving up the money I earn to buy a PlayStation 4 rugby game.”

Last Updated: 24/05/2016
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