St Leger Homes was recently invited to Parliament to talk about the work we are doing championing older people in the workforce through our award winning New Directions scheme.
At the prestigious event on Wednesday 16th November, hosted in the House of Lords by Baroness Greengross, and arranged by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), St Leger Homes’ employee Steve Shaw talked about his transition from Community Caretaker to Customer Services Adviser.
The New Directions scheme won the Championing an Ageing Workforce Award at the 2016 Responsible Business Awards for ground-breaking work supporting older people in the workplace.
St Leger Homes of Doncaster was recognised for its New Directions recruitment and retention programme, which offers retraining and redeployment opportunities, flexible working and retirement to support those aged 50 and over who may need to consider their career options. The aim is to ensure St Leger Homes can celebrate and retain the skills and experience of its diverse workforce for the benefit of its customers and the local economy, whilst supporting the wellbeing of staff. Older staff members also help upskill new employees via mentoring programmes.
Steve Shaw, aged 64, was a community caretaker for many years, but suffered physical problems which affected his ability to carry out the role. St Leger Homes supported Steve in order to accommodate his changing needs, offered retraining and a work trial, as well as taking flexible retirement allowing him to work part-time and have access to his pension. He now has a permanent position as a Customer Services Adviser, and uses his life experiences to help and advise our customers.
Steve said: “It was great to be able to go to the House of Lords and tell people of how I have benefited from the New Directions scheme. I have been helped, supported and coached by staff at St Leger Homes of Doncaster all the way through my journey. I have been retrained how to use computers; they have been patient with me and given me the time I have needed. I really value my position.
“I am very grateful for the good management team that makes this possible. Mentally and physically this has been a great boost for me and changed my life.
“If any other staff members at St Leger Homes need to talk to me for me to share my experience with them so they know they can get the right help and support within the organisation, I am more than willing to support them.”
Susan Jordan, Chief Executive, St Leger Homes of Doncaster said: “St Leger Homes is committed to ensuring it maintains an age diverse workforce, including recruiting and retaining employees over 50 who currently face significant barriers to employment. We recognise and value the experience and skills and expertise our older employees offer. “We are delighted and honoured to have our work with older people recognised nationally. Taking our own experiences to Parliament is a great statement that again Doncaster is leading the way when it comes to ensuring staff are valued in the workplace.”