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Diversity Champion



Are we really? We think we are!
The words in the title are true reflections of The Wardrobe Store’s ethos.


What is ETHOS?
The ethos of a company is its core set of values and beliefs which outlines the company’s overall operations. In other words, the ethos represents the way the company wants to behave.


We at The Wardrobe Store are proud to work with people from different backgrounds and with all abilities, giving them opportunities to grow and develop. 




(From left: Ethan Britton - intern, Attila Darvasi – College Coordinator)


Hello, my name is Ethan Britton and I am currently on the Supported Internship Programme (SIP) with Shipley College. This programme gives opportunities to young adults with special education needs to find and work with a chosen employer.


When I was just 3 years old, I got rushed into hospital because of a heart attack. Then the doctors discovered that I had heart disease. The condition means that I can’t do as much physically as everybody else. Shipley College - Supported Internships work in a partnership with The Wardrobe Store and they were happy to offer me an internship placement.


I enjoy working at The Wardrobe Store and I come in every Tuesday 9-5. All of the colleagues are very polite, friendly and helpful. I work on the business’ social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram.
I talk to customers and reply to their comments, upload photos and also change product details on their website. I am really enjoying it, it is a work that suits me really well and I’m working very hard.


Other than work, I enjoy playing and watching football. I support Bradford City and I have been a season ticket holder for 10 years and I will follow and support them for the rest of my life. I also like to listen to music and my favourite group is Little Mix. 




(From left: Attila Darvasi – College Coordinator, Manan Amjid - intern,)


I heard about Shipley College from my sister who has done L3 social care there. Before the internship I have learned functional English and Maths in college where one of my teachers told me about the internship opportunity. I wanted to keep busy and work so it sounded like a good course. I am physically fit and was looking to work in a warehouse.


The Supported Internships found this placement for me with Scandinavian House where I am an intern now.  My jobs involve collecting different items onto a pallet; unloading and loading trucks and keeping the warehouse clean and tidy. I find my colleagues nice and friendly and I like coming here. Some days are really busy other days are quieter.


I have learned a lot of new skills here such as shrink wrapping, using trolleys, loading pallets correctly, labelling, and working in a team and on my own.  Since I have started here I feel more confident with the tasks I have learned. 




 (From left: JT colleague, Karl – EX intern,)


When I left school, with the help of my parents, I went to Shipley College to get qualifications in Maths and English, computers and study health and safety. I learned about independent travelling as well to help me use public transport. After the health and safety course I enrolled to the Supported Internship Programme where I got work experience. I came to work at Scandinavian House one day a week on a Friday.


After I finished the course Anne and Dan who own Scandinavian House offered me a job. I had seen videos of interviews at college and they gave me an interview. I work from 9am to 1pm on a Friday. Sometimes I do overtime. My job includes sweeping up around the warehouse, the yard and car park and keeping these areas tidy. I wrap mattresses by putting them in a cardboard box. This keeps the mattresses clean for delivery to customers.


I like helping people, meeting new people and bonding with people. I get on very well with my colleagues. I think my colleagues are polite people and very caring. A lot of things have changed since I came to work here. My personality and confidence have grown. I get paid every month and I have managed to save some money. With my first wage I bought an X-Box, it is one of the best things I have bought.




(From left: Ethan - intern, Attila - college coordinator, Karl – EX intern staff member)


When I first approached the Wardrobe Store (Kids Avenue) I was greeted with genuine interest and open mind towards the Supported Internship Programme (SIP). This was confirmed when I first met in person with Anne Ridgway (Director) who showed understanding and support towards the programme and accepted the opportunity to work in a partnership with the SIP. Soon after the first meeting Karl (ex intern) had his internship interview and he was accepted as an Intern Warehouse Assistant. During Karl’s internship he had his ups and downs as he has significant learning difficulties, but thanks to the helpful colleagues of The Wardrobe Store and the adequate one to one support from the college, we helped him to overcome and he managed to learn certain important tasks in a warehouse which positively contribute to the business. Karl has been a valued member of paid staff at The Wardrobe Store for a number of years now.


This year (2017) I approached Anne again with confidence as I have identified two more possible interns from Shipley College who wished to work in a warehouse and office setting. Anne was very supportive and quickly arranged the internship interviews and accepted the two students (Ethan B. and Manan A.) as interns. As today they are both progressing well and gaining more and more skills and independence within their working area with the help of the staff members and the support from college. I am looking forward to seeing their future progression with hopefully a positive outcome. 




Anne Ridgway - Director


Diversity is a subject very close to my heart, and specifically helping those with a learning disability to get a step along the work ladder. My Uncle (who is now in his 70s) has managed to live a long and useful working life in a variety of jobs, despite his learning disability. Through a variety of jobs ranging from portering to car park attendant he managed to keep in paid employment for nearly 50 years. I realised that this would not be possible without employers like me taking extra steps to build the environment needed to teach the tasks and find opportunities suitable for those of all abilities.


 Karl has been working for us for a few years now. Initially his role was to wrap mattresses in boxes. A manual task which is actually quite repetitive but not easy to master. Within a few weeks Karl was faster than everyone else and what’s more he wrapped the boxes cheerfully, turned up early, was a pleasure to have around and was generally a good team member. Now Karl helps out on other tasks, his strength and understanding has really improved and he continues to be a key member of the team.


 Both Manan and Ethan are settling in really well too, learning skills to help them find employment and obviously happy to work with us through the scheme. It is through Attila and Shipley College’s supported internship programme that we are managing to build these bridges between students and employers and we are proud to be partners. I am in the fortunate position as Director of Kids Avenue and The Wardrobe Store to be able to offer the opportunities needed both now and in the future.