Jim's Story

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Jim Owen, 57, is a Kitchen Assistant at Newburgh House, SEQOL in Swindon.

Jim is a friendly, charming and hard-working gentleman who is a highly valued member of the team. Jim has a physical disability and is supported by Pluss on the Work Choice programme.

Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.

Jim’s words

“I collect the laundry, set tables, pour drinks and serve cheese and biscuits. I also take meals to resident’s rooms. I started originally for six months then they offered me a permanent job.

“I most enjoy talking to the residents. I prefer older people to younger people. They like me and I like them. I always get on well with them; I enjoy having a laugh and a joke.

“I had been out of work for about 10 years. I was born disabled. I had injuries at birth, my muscles are wasted and my left side is smaller than my right side. I used to have a medical check every year then I was told if I didn’t get a job I would lose my benefits. If it wasn’t for Pluss I don’t think I would have got a job in time. They really encouraged me and helped me get interviews. Then they got me the placement here.

“Now, I am glad that I am back in work. This is a really good job. I have been here for one year now and it’s still brilliant. It’s nice to come back from holiday and have something to come back to. I like everything about it.” 

Claudia McGuire, Manager of Newburgh House and Day Centre

“The residents here love Jim and he has a really pleasant  way with elderly people. He mixes well and chats with them. They like him because he is naturally able to support others and they’ll talk to him about all sorts of things and really enjoy his company.

“Jim has really progressed and definitely gained in confidence. He uses his initiative and just gets on with it. He is always prompt, always early and is happy to stay on if needed. We now give him different things to do and are hoping to increase his hours. Last weekend, he took on warden checking. He’s brilliant as it really helps us out.

“We were finding this position hard to fill - now I have got somebody I can rely on. With Jim, it’s more than just a job. He enjoys it and it shows. He has never let me down, been sick or been late.”