By Patrick Atack, ecdp Communications Volunteer
I sat down with Dave to chat through his experiences of taking part in the fourth cycle of the ecdp Works programme. Here is his story...
'It didn’t actually feel like a job to me, and I’m keeping in touch with all the guys I worked with.'
Dave spent six weeks with Mitie, as a Technical Facilities Assistant. Instead of working in an office, he spent each day of the placement travelling round Essex to different sites, to make repairs or inspections on the facilities such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers, to name only a few.
Dave said 'I really want to get into this line of work, but one of the guys I worked with, Ken, came up with the idea of possibly more voluntary work, to keep my new skills fresh.'
This work placement has clearly been a fantastic opportunity for Dave to explore something he thought his impairment might stop him from doing. Dave clearly loved his placement, and impressed his line managers at Mitie to much that they have encouraged him to apply for positions in the company, as well as supporting him to print off job searches, as working with computers is sometimes difficult for Dave.
'They made me feel so welcome, and like one of the team. It was absolutely fantastic.'
His family noticed a real change in Dave, that we at ecdp can also see. This shows the brilliant impact that ecdp Works can have, both with the participants and the companies we work with. Not only did Dave love his placement, but he made a real impression on those he worked with. His colleagues told him that they want to work with him in the future, and ecdp Work’s Project Manager Rachel Vipond will continue to support Dave to secure future employment.
Mitie, the FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing company, have been crucial in supporting ecdp Works. Their Chief Executive Ruby McGregor Smith CBE said ‘if we are serious about supporting disabled people, we need to focus on removing the barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential’.