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Published Tuesday, 8th October 2013

A Worcester man whose epilepsy resulted in him being unemployed for more than 10 years has finally landed his dream job, thanks to support from Remploy and the pub chain J D Wetherspoon.

Cheers

Tony Hammett, 42, who has had epilepsy since childhood, frequently suffered seizures in the street. But passers-by would often ignore his plight, mistakenly thinking he was drunk. With his confidence shattered, Tony spiralled into depression and he became a virtual recluse, rarely venturing out of the house he shares with his sister.

Last year, however, he was referred by his local Jobcentre Plus to Remploy, a leading provider of specialist employment services for disabled and disadvantaged people, and his journey from years of frustrating unemployment into life transforming work was underway.

“Remploy was fantastic for me,” said Tony who received tailored one-to-one support from Remploy’s branch in Worcester city centre, including help with online job searching and advice on creating a CV to highlight his skills to potential employers. “They also helped me set achievable goals and showed me it was possible to get back to work even after such a long time without a job.”

The support paid off when he was offered a two week work trial as a bar man at the busy Postal Order pub in Foregate Street, Worcester. “I had never considered working in a pub,” admitted Tony, who had been a machine engineer before his epilepsy and depression forced him to resign. “But I was certainly prepared to give it a try.”

“It’s fair to say that Tony was very nervous during his work trial,” added Rob Deeming, manager of the Postal Order. “In fact he would shake so much when he was pouring a pint that most of it ended up on the floor!

“However, I could see that he had potential. He was good with customers and he worked hard, two very important qualities that J D Weatherspoon looks for in its employees. I really believed he had the ability to do the job and wanted to give him every chance to prove me right.”

The work trial was extended to 12 weeks before Tony received the news he had waited so long to hear. “You’ve got the job!”

“I love working here,” said Tony, who has already picked up one employee of the month award and has his sights set on more. “From day one of my work trial I was determined to succeed. Even if I hadn’t been offered a permanent job I saw it as a way of reintegrating myself into the world of work.”

“From the start, Tony was focussed on getting a job,” said Kim Balsom, an In-Work Support advisor at Remploy’s Worcester branch. “The impact epilepsy had on his life can’t be underestimated. But he was a delight to work with and he showed tremendous determination to not only find work but also prove himself in the job to ensure he sustains his employment. He thoroughly deserves this success.”

Tony is the third Remploy candidate to be employed by J D Weatherspoon at the Postal Order. “My experience of working with Remploy has been entirely positive,” said Rob. “I need candidates who are enthusiastic and comfortable around people – and that is just what Remploy provide.”

ENDS


Picture caption: Tony Hammett

For further information and interview requests, please contact Remploy press office: 0300 456 8121 or email pressoffice@remploy.co.uk


Notes to Editors:
  • In the last four years Remploy Employment Services has found more than 50,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
  • Remploy is driven by the fundamental belief that every disabled person can, with appropriate support and specialist advice, secure sustainable employment
  • Employment Services has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
  • It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and vocational rehabilitation services
  • Remploy ES partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, the NHS and Marks & Spencer
  • It operates a national network of more than 60 town and city centre recruitment branches and offices providing specialist recruitment and development services to job seekers