Chirag had a range of duties including supporting customers, keeping the bank clean and tidy, assisting with a branch move to another.
Chirag began his placement with Barclays after completing a college course and with experience of working at ASM Cash and Carry and Asda.
Barclays have a strong commitment to workplace diversity with a guiding philosophy that states “We aim to foster a culture where individuals of all backgrounds feel confident in bringing their whole selves to work, feel included and their talents are nurtured, empowering them to contribute fully to Barclays vision and goals”.
In April 2018 Barclays registered with WorkFit. WorkFit has worked with financial institutions to create placements in the past, including Nationwide and Unity Trust Bank, and were delighted to have extended our reach in this sector through this new partnership with Barclays.
To make sure Chirag’s placement would be a success, staff from the branch he was to be working in received a free session of Down’s syndrome awareness training from WorkFit. Chirag was able to start his position later that month.
Chirag really enjoyed his time at Barclays and formed a strong rapport with colleagues and customers.
He told us: “Working at the bank was very good, there was lots to do. I enjoy tidying up and helping people, the people were nice. I enjoyed welcoming the customers and directing them to where they needed to go such as the counter and how to use the cash machine.
“I greatly enjoyed being the mascot at the charity bank football derby, it was a great day. The staff at the bank are very nice and everybody was hardworking and helpful. Ben was very helpful, he showed me how the bank works and allowed me to try working in different areas of the bank with supervision. I enjoyed helping Ben and all the staff to empty the old bank and help them to move in to the new location. I would love to work at Barclays again.
I want to thank everyone that works at the bank especially Ben for letting me have work experience there.”
Chirag’s family are, understandably, very proud of him. His aunt Pushpa told WorkFit: “Chirag has made great progress and developed customer skills and built up his self-confidence He has proved to be worthy and an asset within the branch he is working. The staff and management are very caring and he is very much liked by everyone including the customers. This has made a big impact on his wellbeing and health both socially and professionally.”
Barclays have been delighted by Chirag and WorkFit. Benjamin, the branch manager, told us: “Chirag fits in really well and has built some good bonds with the staff. He has been up to a lot including leading out the Barclays team for our charity Bank derby game and it was great to share his birthday with him. Our branch was moving in September so we have included him in a lot of the clear out work we have needed to do. He has really enjoyed this, has got stuck in and demonstrates a fantastic work ethic.”
We share his family’s pride in Chirag’s achievement and wish him well for the future. We thank Barclays for their support of WorkFit and look forward to a long and productive partnership with the company in branches throughout the country.
We also hope that Chirag’s story may inspire similar organisations to get involved and we would welcome enquiries from anyone interested in recruiting a person with Down’s syndrome.
WorkFit North is possible due to the Big Lottery Fund.
WorkFit supports people with Down’s syndrome to access meaningful work opportunities that can benefit the rest of their lives. For more information about WorkFit please contact the team on 0333 12 12 300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the WorkFit website: www.dsworkfit.org.uk