The Mayor of Swindon carried out the official opening of a new office for Pluss in Swindon.
In the current economic climate, finding the right job isn’t easy. But for people with a disability or a health condition, it can be even more daunting.
Nearly one in five people of working age in the UK have a disability, but less than half of them (48%) are in work compared with 78% of non-disabled people. For some disability groups, it’s tougher still – only 7% of people with a learning disability, for example, are in employment.
As a social enterprise supporting thousands of people with disabilities into employment each year, Pluss knows that it is vital to keep working harder to achieve success in a challenging jobs market.
That’s why Pluss’ new office in Commercial Road, will have a vital role to play in the years ahead, supporting people from all over Swindon with a disability or a health condition to find a job and develop a career they can be proud of.
People like Mel Phillips who is 22 years old and works as a waitress at the Kembrey Inn in Swindon. Mel is a bubbly and friendly young lady with a great sense of humour. She is deaf and communicates by lip reading and signing.
Mel said “Pluss helped me get my first proper job. I had only had Christmas jobs before and I was really scared as obviously I had been out of work so long.
"When I got the job I was glad but nervous and quite scared as I was coming off benefits and going into the real world. I was a bit worried about how people would take to me. But everyone is used to me now, and we have a laugh and a joke. The customers love me.
"They try and put me on shift if they know they have deaf customers. Recently we had three deaf customers and I was able to tell what they were saying.”
Mel’s boss, Andy Mundy, who is the General Manager at the Kembrey Inn, adds “Mel is a very hard worker. She has really come out of her shell and is an integral part of the team; a really good team member. She’s friendly, remembers our customers and has a laugh and a joke. She is just what we wanted here.”