Dale Batley is 27 and lives in Belle Isle. He works at the British Heart Foundation online sales hub in Leeds.
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.
“The people are really nice here. It’s a good and easy place to work. I am a general helper. Being a tall person helps. I am happy to voice my opinion – but always in a good way!
“I was out of work for two or three years. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I struggled going out and being around people. I didn’t really go anywhere and was pretty much agoraphobic. It was awful not being able to go out or do stuff. I was on ESA because it got really bad.
“It feels great now. It is something to get up for in the morning. It also gives me a bit more brass.
“Pluss were recommended to me and they were really welcoming. They brought me to meet Andy and I started as a volunteer for 8 weeks before I got the job. They also helped me to train for the first month."
Andy Shaw, Online Sales Supervisor
“Dale is a Warehouse Operative. When he first came to look around he really lacked confidence. I didn’t quite know quite what area would suit him but Pluss encouraged us to give it a go. Now Dale is confident, organised, reliable and a really great communicator. He’s really settled and very positive.
“It’s so good to see the transformation of Dale and the way that the responsibility has bought him completely out of his shell.”
The online sales hub deals with 750 shops nationwide and sells anything valuable, rare or unique. They have 54 paid staff and 13 volunteers. They have had five employees, five trainees and three volunteers from Pluss.
“We are slightly different to the shops as we have paid staff, and it is a faster-paced and commercially orientated environment.
“We have a varied range of tasks – listing, admin, customer service, research, photography, warehouse picking, IT, receiving and loading vehicles, booking in an the internal system – all modern relevant skills.
“We’ve had excellent support from Pluss. They know all about our business and what people would suit the job. The quality of people they have given us has been great and they are all really keen to work. We use the traineeship as a proper induction which gets each person ready for the job and they can step straight into it. Pluss stay in contact, visit and check that there is a smooth transition from the traineeship into becoming a paid employee.
“Doing it this way is a lot better than interview. We get to know each individuals work ethic, attitude and what they’re like as people. At interview an individual might say the right thing but there is nothing better than getting to know someone and seeing how they work. This is the first partnership of this kind that we have had and it’s worked really well. For me if the person is able and capable of doing the job, then that’s the most important thing.”