An Oldham man who had major surgery for cancer says that his new job is the best medicine he's ever taken!
Dennis Richmond, who is 62 and from Derker, makes the claim after Remploy, the UK's leading provider of specialist services for people who experience complex barriers to employment, helped find him a job. Now in remission, Dennis is delighted to be working again, and is quickly getting used to his change in career.
"Prior to my illness I worked in heavy structural engineering, but it was obvious I would never return to that kind of manual job," said Dennis. "Not really clear about what else I could do, I visited Remploy at their branch on Union Street in Oldham and was introduced to an employment advisor who discussed my aspirations with me and helped me identify the skills I had, before suggesting I signed up for their retail cleaning course."
Dennis attended Remploy's cleaning academy in Burnley where people with disabilities and long term health conditions are taught the range of professional techniques expected by employers.
He quickly got a job with City Facilities Management (UK) Ltd, the company contracted to clean many of Asda's stores, and he now works part-time at Asda Living in Royton.
"Having a job is not so much about being paid, although obviously this is important," added Dennis. "More so, it's about rehabilitation following my life-changing experience. Prior to getting this job I was desperate to re-establish a purpose in life. I have experienced emotional lows, but just being here and having a sense of purpose again has turned that around completely."
Remploy offers a broad range of employment services for people with disabilities and health conditions who are keen to return to work or enter the labour market for the first time. These include basic employment skills and vocational training, assistance with job searching, help with completing applications forms and arranging job tasters and interviews.
"There is help out there for people who experience knock-backs in life," said Dennis. "Remploy gave me the boost I needed, at a time when I needed it most - and that beats taking any number of pills!"