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Every One a Champion!
Thursday 13th December, 2012

Wigan Paralympian Jon Pollock brought extra festive cheer to the council’s Supported Employment Service celebration evening.

“It’s great to be here and find out about the inspiring work you all do,” said the veteran of four Games.

Jon gave his time to present certificates to local people who have been supported into jobs with assistance from Wigan Council. He posed for pictures with award winners at Ince town hall as part of their annual Christmas party and celebration of people with disabilities succeeding in paid employment.

Certificates were presented for long service – including to Paul Heaton of Belmont Packaging, Janette Davies of Chadwick’s and Colleen Beaman of Morrison’s in Ince, who have worked for 10 years. Awards also went to Ciaran O’Connor of Sainsbury’s in Wigan and Ian Swanson of Morrison’s in Ince for their 15 years’ service.

Ian Swanson received a special award for the quality of his work and both Landgate School and Atherton Tesco’s received special recognition for the support they give to service users.

Senior council officers and politicians were there, including deputy leader Cllr David Molyneux and cabinet champion for customers Cllr Chris Ready, who have continued to visit many of the service users in their places of work in the last year.

Cllr Molyneux said: “The firms represented tonight already make an important contribution to jobs and the economy in our borough. But they are not just an ordinary business, because they make time to do extraordinary things by supporting a diverse workforce.”

The awards night enables the council to acknowledge the long term achievements of individuals who they’ve supported into permanent work, as well as applaud bosses from firms like Northern Feather, Tesco, Asda, McDonalds, BHS, Petree Packaging, the Brocket Arms and Empire Cinemas who have excelled in displaying good equal opportunities practice and employing a workforce that reflects local communities.

Plaudits for the Supported Employment team over the last few years include ‘Outstanding’ from Ofsted inspectors, becoming the council’s own ‘Team of the Year’ and a commendation at the Wigan Life Awards. As well as organising employment for over two hundred local people, they offer training and advice for anyone facing complex barriers to gaining and sustaining a job.

Wigan Council’s Supported Employment Manager Mark Glover adds: “Our celebration epitomises the spirit and commitment of the team, the determination of the individuals we support and the commitment of the employers we work with. By working together we ensure employment opportunities exist for everyone.”

Mark paid tribute to the sponsors who funded the night, including Kath Ryan from Tesco Hindley and Sandra Pollock from Pooles Pies, as well as Rose Leisure and DJs Brendan and Neil.

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