Generous staff at the Stratton branch of Sainsbury’s have chosen a self-managed social group for male stroke survivors, Swindon Men’s Shed, supported by the SEQOL charity, as their official charity partner of the year.
The store’s Colleague Council select a new partner charity every year, following a pitch process in which several different charities each put forward their case for being partnered by the local Sainsbury’s superstore.
Tricia Carter, a member of the Sainsbury’s colleague council at Stratton, said the pitch by Swindon’s Men’s Shed won the council over with their descriptions of how being able to join the group had changed their lives for the better.
“The whole presentation was excellent, but it was when one stroke survivor told us about how active he’d been before the stroke and the devastating impact that had had on his life that we felt this was such a strong case,” said Tricia.
“He explained how Men’s Shed turned his life around, and has enabled him to recover to the point where was able to get back to work again, and is once more in a role that he has the skills and knowledge for. He put that down to Men’s Shed and working at SEQOL Enterprise Works.
“We are looking forward to getting involved with what SEQOL does now. It’s all about a partnership between us and our selected charity of the year, and we’ll be offering staff volunteers to help Men’s Shed achieve what it wants in the coming 12 months.”
Jeanette Grant, operations manager at SEQOL enterprise works, said one of the reasons that Men’s Shed is sited at Enterprise Works is that it is a supported business environment that employs people with disabilities, and so the men recovering from strokes feel at ease in the environment.
“It also gives the group members access to materials in a really productive and creative environment,” said Jeanette, “as well as access to advice and support when required. Men’s Shed is a social group that supports its members, it has been running for a year and two of the group have returned to work during that time. Everyone is an individual, some members will continue to need this social interaction long term and others for a short time. The additional resources, expertise and supportive environment we have here at Enterprise Works contribute to that process.”
“We did the best we could at the pitch, but we knew the competition would be tough. We were all absolutely over the moon when we heard that Sainsbury’s had selected us, and we are all looking forward to working closely with Sainbury’s staff over for the coming year.”
For more information on Swindon Men’s Shed and SEQOL go to: www.seqol.org