Bristol's Richard Hiscox and Leanne Hamilton-Bond have found a new lease of life after finding ‘more reasons' to work thanks to a helping hand from Remploy.
Richard, who had been out of paid employment for over 20 years and Leanne, who had never worked before, were referred to Remploy by their local Jobcentre in a bid to get them both into employment.
Remploy, the UK's leading provider of employment services to people with disabilities and health conditions, helped the duo and they are now both enjoying working in Morrisons Fishponds store.
Richard, 43, lives in Downend. He had depression for over 15 years and had been a psychiatric patient for some of these. Remploy's team of employment advisors worked with him over a six-month period to develop his confidence, practise mock interviews and worked through a two-week development programme to ensure he was job-ready.
Richard is now working as a stock replenisher at Morrisons. He explains how Remploy helped in his quest to find a job.
"Having depression for many years, I thought the stigma surrounding mental health would prevent me from getting a job.
"I was really nervous about the possibility of starting work but the training was really helpful. I even had specific coaching on health and safety and manual handling."
Leanne, 20 from the Gloucester Road area of the city, is the first person in her immediate family to go into work. Having left school with no qualifications, she went directly to receiving benefits through her local Jobcentre.
Leanne explains: "After leaving school I just didn't think I could get a job. I went to see Remploy and they were brilliant. Being dyslexic I can't read or write very well but Remploy helped me by reading to me and I would then tell them what I wanted to put on my application forms."
Leanne now works full time in the storeroom, taking orders and helping customers. She is enjoying the job immensely.
"I am so pleased to be working - it shows that people can get off benefits if they really want to and the support is out there. Remploy has been wicked - if I could rate them I'd give them five stars!"
Morrisons works nationally with Remploy to help provide jobs for an increasing number of disabled people.
Rupee Dogra, personnel manager at the Morrisons Fishponds store, said: "We have worked with Remploy for a while now and are impressed with the quality of applications by potential employees. Many of our posts are successfully filled through our partnership with the organisation. Leanne and Richard have settled in very well and both are an asset to the team."