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Martin blossoms in M&S role

Plymouth, employment, mental health

 

Martin Dingley was convinced he was unemployable when he was referred to Remploy’s Plymouth branch for specialist help with his job searching. The 50-year-old had been out of work for 10 years after he was forced to give up his job in a busy restaurant because of physical and mental ill health.
 
“I really believed I was incapable of doing anything except the most menial work,” he said. “But from the minute I walked through the door at Remploy I felt able to talk openly with my employment advisor about my hopes and fears for the future.”
 
Remploy helped Martin create a standout CV, provided interview training and worked on restoring his self-belief. The support paid off when he secured a four-week placement on Marks & Spencer’s employability programme, Marks & Start at the retailers’ Simply Food store in Crownhill, Plymouth.
 
The work placement was just what Martin needed, as Chloe Evans, Section Manager at M&S Simply Food Crownhill, explained.
 
“Martin has never had a job interview in his life, so Marks & Start was ideal because it gave him an opportunity to gain new skills in the retail sector without the stress of having to go through a formal interview.”
 
After impressing on the work placement, Martin was offered a permanent job as a customer assistant at the store and is now a respected and valued member of the team.
 
“I feel like I have got my life back,” he said. “Twelve months ago I was so lacking in confidence I couldn’t even stand in a line of customers let alone be assisting one. Now I’m playing my part in keeping the store running smoothly, including working on the checkout, and I love every minute. I can’t thank Remploy and M&S enough.”
 
Chloe added: “It’s wonderful to see how Martin has blossomed since he has been with us. He is helpful to customers and colleagues and always wants to give his best.”