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DWP Support Local Business to Recruit Disability Champion

A HOMECARE provider has won recognition for championing disabled workers’ rights and ensuring their business is accessible to all.

Right at Home Swansea, which provides high quality homecare and companionship across Swansea, Neath and the Gower, has worked with employee Lee Ellery to secure support from the Department of Work and Pension’s Access to Work scheme.

Lee, aged 34 from Winch Wen, joined Right at Home after an introduction from Tim Dallinger of Social Care Consultants Ltd.

Rebecca Evans AM, Lee Ellery, Julie James AM, James Foley RaH MD

Right at Home’s Managing Director, James Foley, said

“Tim has been supporting me through the early days of the business, as my business mentor. Tim had informed me of Lee’s teaching abilities. It struck me instantly that Lee could share his personal experiences with our Carers during our CareGiver inductions. Lee is also qualified in delivering Disability Equality training which is an invaluable topic. All in all, it made perfect sense for Lee to play a key part in defining our core values and assisting us to train our CareGivers in what makes us different to the more conventional standard of care being delivered with his unique experience.

“I went and met Lee for the first time when he was in respite. We hit it off instantly and shared many frustrations with the sector and vowed we would work tirelessly to try to improve things. By appointing Lee, we have really started on our mission! We disagreed on one thing though – Lee is a lifelong Swansea City fan. As I originate from Cardiff, you can imagine there has been some banter with the ups and downs of both clubs this season. One thing we did agree on was how great it would be to have two Welsh clubs playing in the Premiership next year but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”

Lee has Cerebral Palsy Spastic Quadriplegia and only has use of a pincer grip in his left hand. Lee has been working with Right at Home as a volunteer for the last two months and he will now have the chance to become an employee through the Access to Work scheme from the DWP. This is great news as Lee and Right at Home will be provided with the equipment, support and travel to enable him to carry out his role.

Lee is a Disability Activist and a Disability Equality Trainer. He has worked in the voluntary sector for 14 years. Lee said:

“I came to work at Right at Home after I was approached by James Foley and Tim Dallinger. Tim was aware I was looking for work to get my mind actively engaged and allow me to spend more time away from the family home. You can’t imagine how excited I was when Tim informed me that a local employer was looking for someone with my skills. When I met James it was apparent that we shared a vision of what good quality care should look like, then as they say, the rest was history!

“After a few more meetings with Emma Lewis (Right at Home’s Registered Manager), Fran Knight of the DWP and Emma Wood from Gower College, it all fell into place. I have now become part of the exciting Right at Home Swansea story. You can clearly see James is surrounding himself with people of great talent that makes for a dynamic team. A team that I’m very proud to say I’m part of.”

In the process of ensuring their workplace is safe and accessible, Right at Home Swansea has received a Disability Confident Employer Award. Managing Director James Foley commented:

“For me personally it doesn’t matter what Lee’s disability and mobility issues are, these things we can overcome especially as our office in Henley House is very accessible to people living with disabilities. The fact Lee has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he can share with our team is priceless. Lee and his family have been great and it’s a real pleasure to have him working for us.”