Working with employers

The relationships between the CDG – WISE Ability supply chain and the employers are key to the success of our customers securing sustained employment. Our role is to support both the customer and the employer.


How do we support our employers?

• Information, advice and guidance: providing employers with the support they need to enable them to create the right environment for staff to develop and grow.• Reasonable adjustment: support employers to use ‘Access to Work’ to help fund equipment and adjustments to support disabled people in the workplace.

• Effective use of current resources: support employers to use the resources they already have to support disabled employees, such as buddys in the workplace.

• Coping strategies: understanding the challenges associated with some disabilities, and how to reduce the impact.

• Additional support mechanisms: Using our wider supply chain to provide additional support mechanisms such as training, counselling and debt management.

The only way to succeed is by true partnership working.

Read employer success stories about the Co-op Distribution Centre and Poundland.


CDG – WISE Ability Employer Ambassadors


What is a CDG – WISE Ability Employer Ambassador:

An Employer Ambassador is an exemplary employer who has experience of employing customers who have a disability and/or long-term health condition.


The Role of the CDG – WISE Ability Employer Ambassador:

  • Supporting CDG – WISE Ability in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight,  in promoting the Work Choice programme to employers, who will go on to employ Work Choice customers.
  • Providing feedback to CDG – WISE Ability regarding employer experiences.
  •  Participating in training workshops taking place on a quarterly basis as and when necessary.
  • To deliver the message that disabled people and people with long term health conditions can be a massive asset to the business.


Recently 3 of our Employer Ambassadors were nominated for the Employer of the Year award in our annual Rewards and Recognition event.


Employer of the Year Award Nominations


1st Place – B & M, Farlington

B & M Farlington have been nominated for the ‘Employer of the Year’ Award to acknowledge all the hard work and support they offer individuals with disabilities and/or long term health conditions to achieve sustained employment.

The Store Manager, Mel Walker along with Dean, Jackie and the team at B & M work closely with the Work Choice Team to ensure Work Choice customers get the support and reasonable adjustment they need to succeed.

Mark Hughs, Shaw Trust Employer Engagement Consultant said ‘Mel and her team have been great to work with; they are open minded, flexible and keen to see the positives of working with our customers’. They look outside the obvious and identify the often hidden talents of our customers.

Mel said that the support that they receive from Charlene Fletcher the Shaw Trust  ‘In Work Support’ Adviser makes all the difference. Charlene is always available when needed and is there to provide both B&M and the customer the support they want to ensure the success of B&M and the Work Choice customer.

B & M, Farlington have supported some of the hardest to help customers on the Work Choice programme and always take the time to learn how to get the best from each individual. Customers who work at B & M state that Mel seems to know what they need before they do and that they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. B & M, Farlington work hard to support all their customers and ensure a person centred approach, all reasons for their well-deserved nomination of the ‘Employer of the Year’.

Mel Walker 1st Place_Employer of The year

1st Place Employer of the Year Winner B & M (Manager Mel Walker collected the award) and 2nd Place Employer of the Year Winner The Range (Manager Allie Wareham collected the award)


2nd Place – The Range, Basingstoke

The Range, Basingstoke has been nominated for the ‘Employer of the Year’ Award due to their positive attitude towards the programme and the support they provide for the customers who work there.

Allie Downes, the store manager, works closely with Mark Hughs, Shaw Trust Employer Engagement Consultant and notifies him of any vacancies that become available. Allie ensures that any reasonable adjustments required for the application and interview process are put in place to give each individual the best opportunity to excel. The team at the Range meet with Mark once a month to discuss the customers and identify any additional support needs they may have. The team’s positive attitude to the programme and support of the customers is why their nomination for the ‘Employer of the Year’ is well-deserved.


3rd Place – Waitrose, Basingstoke

Rita and the team at Waitrose, Basingstoke have been nominated for the ‘Employer of the Year’ due to the encouragement and support they give Work Choice customers.

Rita keeps in close contact with Mark Hughs, Shaw Trust Employer Engagement Consultant, about the progress of customers and any issues that have arisen as well as offering work experience placements. These work experience placements are an opportunity for individuals to gain both skills and confidence, which in turn results in more opportunities in the employment market. Rita and her team have supported ten customers since the stored opened in November 2015.

The support and opportunities offered by the team at Waitrose, Basingstoke is why their nomination for the ‘Employer of the Year’ is well-deserved.

ita Gurung_ 3rd Place Employer of the Year

3rd Place Employer of the Year Winner Waitrose (Manager Rita Gurung collected the award)


A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales number 07033535. Registered Office: Shaw Trust, Third Floor, 10 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6BN. Email:

rvn_digitalis_theme rvn_digitalis_theme_tv_1_6 rvn_digitalis_theme_fwv_1_2