Life is ace for Charlene | Life is ace for Charlene | Remploy

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Life is ace for Charlene

"Thanks to Remploy I have a job that I love, lots of good friends – and I’ve even found a husband!”

Charlene Wilson was struggling to find a job when she was referred to Remploy’s Warrington branch, where she received specialist one-to-one support, including advice about interview techniques and help creating a CV that highlighted her skills to potential employers.

Her Remploy employment advisor convinced Charlene that she had the skills employers wanted, but she was still apprehensive when she applied for a vacancy with City Facilities Management, the company that cleans Asda stores.

“I was so pleased when I heard I had got the job as a cleaner at Asda’s Westbrook store in Warrington, even though it was four miles and two bus journeys away from my home,” said Charlene.

That was almost eight years ago and today Charlene, who has a learning disability, is still working for City Facilities Management, but much closer to home at Asda’s Birchwood store. “It’s a short walk away, so there’s no need for any more buses,” said the 30-year-old who, as an Asda ace, is responsible for ensuring customers always enjoy a clean and tidy store.

With her winning smile and friendly personality, Charlene is popular with customers and colleagues – not least husband Stewart, who she met when they were both working at Asda’s Westbrook store.

More recently she showed her ability to keep a cool head in a crisis when a customer went into labour in front of startled shoppers. “I grabbed some towels and made her comfortable until the ambulance arrived,” said a modest Charlene. “It was a real thrill when some weeks later she brought the baby into the store and thanked me for everything I had done.”

Store cleaning manager Jimmy Sweeney is proud of Charlene and everything she has achieved. “Customers love her because she is always helpful and cheerful,” he said. “She takes pride in her work and shows an enthusiasm and willingness to learn – qualities that are valued highly by both City Facilities Management and Asda.”

“Remploy were fantastic because they believed in me and gave me confidence when I didn’t have any,” added Charlene “Thanks to them I have a job that I love, lots of good friends – and I’ve even found a husband.”

Find out more about learning disabilities with our A-Z of disabilities