Samantha Acton, of Domestic Angels in Bournemouth, has partnered with local charity, The Crumbs Project, which helps those with mental health problems and learning disabilities become independent. Crumbs recently encouraged and supported Domestic Angels in taking on Kelly, a woman with severe learning disabilities.
Crumbs Training and Development Manager, Ursula Boardman, advised “Although the law is clear that people with disabilities shouldn’t be discriminated against when seeking employment, only 46.7% of those with disabilities were in employment at the end of 2015, compared to 80.3 % of non-disabled people. Given that there are seven million people of working age in the UK who have a disability, or health condition, there’s a huge amount of untapped talent for small business owners with vacancies to fill.”
Domestic Angels employs 20 people who carry out housework in people’s homes and holiday businesses. Speaking of the Crumbs partnership, Samantha advised, “The only cost to the company was time, we just needed to have a few more cups of tea and a few more chats than we would with other recruits. It was nothing more than that. We needed to gain Kelly’s confidence, so she felt she could open up, talk to us and ask questions. It’s new for her to come out to work.”
Kelly, with the support of her personal advisor at Crumbs, began shadowing another member of staff in cleaning properties two months ago. Now a paid member of staff, she is on her way to taking on a similar workload to other members of staff and becoming a fully-fledged Domestic Angel.”
Crumbs training and Development Manager Ursula Boardman commented, “We first met Domestic Angels at a recruitment fair in Bournemouth. Kelly was there with a member of The Crumbs Project staff who was there supporting her in her search for work. Marie who is a Team Leader at Domestic Angels was really interested to hear about the work that Crumbs does and was extremely helpful chatting to Kelly about the opportunities within the business. Kelly subsequently decided to pursue the opportunity to work for Domestic Angels and a work trial was set up.”
Continuing Ursula added, “Kelly was ecstatic when we told her that she had been accepted to do a work trial. Marie has been wonderful with Kelly, showing compassion and patience, spending time with Kelly and building Kelly’s confidence. Kelly is now in paid employment with Domestic Angels which has not only boosted Kelly’s confidence but has made her feel accepted and capable. We would like to say a huge thank you to Domestic Angels for the support that they have given.”
Sam Acton concluded, “Small businesses should not feel daunted. I strongly recommend that they should try and embrace the opportunity if it presents itself. You will get back just as much as you put in. We can’t wait to meet the next candidate Crumbs put forward!”