How the opportunity to work has changed Welfare Cleaner Ryan Farrell’s life

Back in July, Ryan Farrell attended a World of Work careers event for young adults with disabilities in the local community, hosted by Ab Phab Youth Club. The event was well attended and it was here that Ryan was introduced to Jerram Falkus’ Social Value Manager Alison Cormack. The pair got on like two peas in a pod! Alison was so impressed with Ryan that she then offered him a job working at Jerram Falkus.

Ryan joins Jerram Falkus

Ryan now works as a Welfare Cleaner three days a week at our Roxwell Road site in Barking. The scheme is seeing construction work being carried out for Barking and Dagenham regeneration company, Be First. The site is currently undergoing demolition works and Ryan is helping Project Manager Mark Conway ensure everything is kept in order.

Ryan’s duties include everything from keeping the cabin, changing rooms and toilets clean and tidy, to helping Mark ensure health and safety procedures are followed on-site at all times. There’s no getting past Ryan without the correct footwear!

Ryan always turns up to the site with a huge smile and arrives willing and ready to work. He enjoys meeting new people and keeping the site well maintained for the team. As someone that likes to keep busy, Ryan also likes having responsibilities.

The opportunity to work has changed Ryan’s life. He is learning new skills and meeting new people, both of which have led to an increase in confidence. He now feels like he has a purpose and a routine for his days. The additional income he receives from working has led to greater independence and happiness in areas such as making important life choices and pursuing new interests.

When Ryan started work with Jerram Falkus he was not only provided with the mandatory and required PPE, but also corporate clothing to ensure that he felt embedded into the company from the start. In time, as Ryan’s confidence increases, we plan to look into developing a training plan for him, to further increase his qualifications and improve his future career opportunities. We believe that investing in our employees creates not only a more confident workforce but also a team that feels valued and wants to show up every day.

Jerram Falkus supports local residents with disabilities

As part of our social value commitment to local communities, Alison has been looking at employing residents who are marginalised from getting work and found out that people with learning/hidden disabilities like Ryan are within such a minority group. So from now on, for every new site that we start on, Jerram Falkus will employ and support a resident with a disability.

As a Disability Confident Leader, Jerram Falkus is dedicated to ensuring that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. The Disability Confident scheme is helping us recruit and retain high-quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard-working. By being committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we hope to challenge attitudes and increase understanding of disability.

Ryan is one of the most positive and cheerful people that you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. We asked Ryan what advice he would give to someone who is in the position he was in before working for Jerram Falkus – someone looking for work but not having much luck.

Ryan said: “The advice I would give to someone in this position is to try and be positive that something will come up. Never say never! That’s one thing my family always said to me, never ever give up, no matter how hard things get. Something will always come up.”

Ryan has seen how quickly things can turn around, as not only does he have a new job, but he also has a place of his own – something he never thought he would have.

He is looking forward to seeing the site develop and get busier as he will have the opportunity to take on more hours and work with more people. And he is especially looking forward to the Christmas party later in the year, where he will have the chance to meet the wider Jerram Falkus team. Feeling part of a community is something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience!

Alison said: “We are exceedingly grateful for the immense support from Construction Job Shop Broker Frank Notaro, in registering Ryan and helping him get signed up to our preferred employment agency. Ab Phab have also been amazing – running with this idea and creating meaningful work opportunities a reality for their users. Jerram Falkus looks forward to supporting Ryan in his career journey, ensuring that he gains confidence, increases his self-worth and has a meaningful career.”

We hope that Ryan’s story can inspire other companies to see where they can make space to offer people from marginalised groups an opportunity that they will undoubtedly immensely appreciate.