Light, camera, action! Hospice shop volunteer stars in film about employment skills
Jon Lowe, from Melton in Leicestershire, is being featured in a short film as part of a brand new initiative which aims to help people with disabilities to find paid employment.
Jon, 26, suffers from Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that affects his movement and coordination. As a result his muscles can stiffen, making it difficult for him to do any strenuous physical work. The condition affects one in 400 people in the UK. He also has mild learning difficulties.
Despite the difficulties caused by his condition, instead of sitting around waiting for an opportunity, proactive Jon has been volunteering at the Rainbows shop in Melton for over a year.
Since leaving university in 2012, Jon has struggled to find a permeant paid job, despite having GCSEs, A-Levels and a degree in Health Studies and Psychology. The new initiative, launched by Remploy – who try to bridge the gap between the businesses and disabled people – creates video C.V.s for people to help them get across their skills, personality and experience to potential employers.
“Being unemployed is not fun, it’s boring, “Jon said. “The more volunteer work I can do the better, it gives me something to do and focus on. I get to work on the till, which increases my I.T. skills, and serve customers to improve my communication. It’s a really nice place to work, the customers and my colleagues are all really friendly.”
He continued, “Because of my Cerebral Palsy, travel is big issue. I can’t drive so I’m limited in terms of the jobs I apply for because I need to work around public transport and bus timetables. The Rainbows Shop is close to where I live here in Melton, so it’s perfect for me to get to.
“Volunteering at the Rainbows shop is great because I know I’m helping such a worthwhile charity“, Jon said. “My goal is to someday use the skills gained from working here to help me in a paid role.”
Mark Frisby, Mental Health and Employment Advisor for Remploy, said, “Jon is a fantastic candidate. He is an incredibly popular character, exceptionally good with people and his communication skills are fantastic. The idea of this video diary is that it’s another stepping stone to help showcase these skills to potential employers.”
Lucinda Hardy, Manager of the Melton Mowbray Rainbows Shop, said: “Jon is a very hard worker and is always keen to learn. He’s a great asset to the team and always fun to have around. This new scheme is a great way to show potential employers what he has to offer.”
Rainbows are keen to recruit more volunteers to help in their shops. “Working at a Rainbows shop is never boring,” Lucinda added. “As a volunteer you’ll undertake variety of tasks to help you gain new skills. We encourage all of our volunteers to add what they’ve learnt to their C.V.s and we can even provide you with a reference when you get an interview.”
For more information about volunteering at a Rainbows shop, simply pop in and speak to a member of staff. Alternatively, you can call 01509 638059 or visit the website www.rainbows.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer