She has the key to the door and her eye on the books. Helen Fox grew with confidence has become the first paid worker among the Linkage service users who gain real work experience in the Sir Joseph Banks gift shop in Horncastle.
The Sir Joseph Banks Society has worked with Linkage to provide a retail opportunities at the thriving Bridge Street outlet for learning disabled people for the last six years. The shop was set up by local people who were keen to keep alive the achievements of one Lincolnshire’s famous sons.
Helen, who is 35, has responsibility for Saturday opening and now puts in five hours a week, three on a Saturday in the shop and a further two during the week. She works in the administration office, ensuring that sales information for more than 40 suppliers is correctly processed.
Helen says: “I have been there five years and really enjoy the job, which includes taking phone calls for orders, working as a team and helping out with customers. I am also thrilled to have the responsibility of opening up the shop on a Saturday.”
Robin Grange, 33, is also a Saturday regular. He travels independently on public transport from Mablethorpe to Horncastle to maintain his three hours’ paid employment. Robin assists with the opening the shop before the volunteers arrive and serves customers working behind the till. They are two of around 10 Linkage clients including Diane Taylor (pictured) who gain experience in all aspects of retail.