WorkFit extends partnerships with Dunelm in the East Midlands

One of our longest running and most successful partnerships has been with the furnishing retailer Dunelm. We are delighted to have been able to extend this partnership into the East Midlands, as our candidate Hawabibi has gained a paid, permanent job as a Customer Service Assistant at a store in the region. Prior to gaining this fantastic opportunity, Hawabibi completed various successful work experience placements at Danbury Gardens Home and the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Dunelm first registered with WorkFit in 2016 and have since had candidates successfully placed at several branches in the South West of England and Wales. They have expanded their support for WorkFit with fundraising. Read about previous partnerships here. Team members at the Leicester branch were inspired by their colleagues and so were keen to take on a candidate themselves. Supporting WorkFit is part of Dunelm’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy which states that: “It is important to Dunelm and our colleagues and shareholders that we are responsible members of our community, and that we support local and national charitable causes”.

Before Hawabibi began her position, her colleagues received WorkFit’s Down’s syndrome awareness training. This training covered a range of useful areas including the learning profile associated with Down’s syndrome and management and support strategies. Feedback was positive, with comments including “I’ve learnt a lot during the training course and I am now so much more aware and informed” and “Given the time and attention a person with Down’s syndrome can be an effective team member”.

Hawabibi supports the packing team by sorting items to be packaged, packing the items and ensuring the items match with the sales requests. She has formed strong relationships with her colleagues and has become an integral member of the team. Team Leader Nicky Kelly commented that “Hawabibi has a great attitude and her work ethic is excellent. Her performance at work is outstanding and she has responsibility for a range of tasks such as scanning orders, data inputting and creating samples for customers. We are hoping that she will want to increase her hours here”

Hawabibi is thrilled to have consolidated her career with a permanent position, saying that “I like all of the jobs that I do, especially making buttons from the fabrics and labelling the samples. I go to bed early on the nights before I’m at work and make sure that my uniform is ready. I am very organized at home and at work. I really like working here”. Hawabibi’s parents are extremely happy that she is doing so well and they are very proud of her.

We thank Dunelm for their ongoing support for WorkFit and hope that others will be inspired by this partnership. We are looking forward to continuing and developing our relationship with Dunelm in the future and extending the partnership. If you would like to become a WorkFit
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 dsworkfit@downs-syndrome.org.uk

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