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Moray man with neurological disorder signs first ever contract of employment with Forres-based business aged 27 thanks to support of work coach

By Ewan Malcolm

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A 27-year-old Moray man says signing his first ever contract of employment is a great source of pride for him after overcoming a neurological disorder.

Bruce (right) and Moray Waste Busters operations manager Phil Mills.
Bruce (right) and Moray Waste Busters operations manager Phil Mills.

Bruce Dean has been unable to work due to the disorder, mental health problems and bereavement barriers.

However, Bruce, a DWP Employment and Support Allowance customer, has received support from his work coach Mandy Gibb and employer adviser Jason Allan to help prepare him for the world of work in recent years.

That culminated in Jason approaching Moray Waste Busters in Forres about taking Bruce on a Sector Based Work Academy (SBWA). The programme supports people with gaining pre-employment training, work experience and a guaranteed interview.

Bruce had expressed an interest in working for the business as he enjoyed doing physical work but also wanted to learn how to interact with others as part of a team while rebuilding his self confidence.

And, after just four days of training, Moray Waste Busters offered Bruce paid work as he had made such a positive impression on the team.

He has since accepted a job with the company and signed his first ever contract of employment.

Bruce is also working towards full time employment as his long term goal and says he is determined to come off benefits totally.

He said: "Since I have been coming to Forres over the years, I have always felt supported by Mandy my work coach and Jason.

"I have had support while starting here doing my training and continue to keep in touch with Jason regularly.

"If I have questions about submitting wage slips or funding for items I need, he is there to guide me.

"I am so grateful for all the help I have received from all staff at Forres and I want other people in the same position as me to realise help is there to start moving you on from focusing solely on your health conditions and on to ways you can prove yourself, just like I have done here."

Phil Mills, Moray Waste Busters operations manager, says Bruce has fitted in well with the team.

He said: "I had team members coming to me a few days after Bruce started his training with us saying you need to employ him as he is so hard working and helps others in the team.

"I have several people working here with disabilities and health conditions and with the support of Jason we became a Disability Confident level 2 employer this year as we work together to get more people into our expanding social enterprise.

"I have spoken to Bruce and confirmed that when he is ready, I am willing to offer him full-time employment in the future."

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