WorkFit Liaison Officer.
Roy, 61, from Devizes, will work two days a week as the WorkFit Liaison Officer for the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group. He’ll cover the areas of Swindon, Fairford, Malmsbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, Malborough, Hullavington, Chippenham, Devizes, Calne, Aston Keynes, Cirencester, Aldbourne, Bromham, Melksham and Cheltenham.
Since 2015, the partnership between the Down Syndrome Association’s (DSA) WorkFit programme and the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group has been providing a tailored employment programme for people who have the condition in Swindon and Wiltshire. It is a service dedicated to training employers about the learning profile of people who have Down’s syndrome so that they can be supported in the workplace. It was through the partnership that Roy first came across the programme.
“I first came in to contact with WorkFit in 2015, attending a group coffee morning. I listened to parents and young people who had Down’s syndrome about their attempts to find work. I remember feeling sad and frustrated as they explained about the barriers and challenges routinely faced.
I was determined to act and reached out to WorkFit to offer a workplace opportunity at Wiltshire Police. I was introduced to a wonderful young gentleman called Luke who has Down’s syndrome. He initially became a volunteer administrator in the Control Room and then fully deserved paid employment. I remember the pride on his face on receiving his employment contract. It was a wonderful moment. He also went on to achieve his NVQ in Employability Skills, inspiring the force to open up other workplace opportunities for others who have Down’s syndrome.”
Luke still works with the force and since then, WorkFit has secured a number of opportunities within police forces across the country in all areas, including dog handling, catering and administration duties within the front reception office, the training department, emergency control room, business services, firearms licensing, and special property offices.