Andrew Mills, Nursery Manager at Burncoose collected 'Employer of the year' award at a Diversity Confident event in Truro organised by PLUSS and Positive People on the 29th June.
Andrew was delighted to receive the award and said the following about the background to winning the award.
After years of supporting a disadvantaged member of society, (which sadly came to an end), through various organisations, with PLUSS being the most recent and proactive, I believed it was Burncoose’s social responsibility, (with a turn over circa 1.5m ) to re-engage in this sector of the public.
After a chance meeting with an old friend, coupled then with an off chance meeting with Frankie (Positive People) this scenario came into fruition.
An old friend Scott , whom I have known for 35 years, has been dealt a 'rough hand' for many years.
Registered 20% disabled, after losing 2 fingers in an industrial accident, bi polar, and suffering from PTSD, Scott, a former serviceman in the Royal Navy, had taken himself out of main stream society for many years.
Along with this came depression and anxiety, and the flirtation with drink, drugs and the breaking of the law that this leads to.
Society, and the running of society, had let him down in many ways. Sadly in his life it still does, but Scott remains upbeat and is an infectious character. Therefore, as this opportunity presented itself, I knew, as I know Scott, that this was too good an opportunity to miss for both parties.
Able to cope with part time hours, Scott has undertaken the irrigation responsibilities of the retail area (no mean feat) and contributed to the winning of a Gold medal at the Royal Cornwall flower show by building an artistic ornamental water feature.
Over the last few months, Scott has contributed to the success of The Chelsea Flower show, in a customer service and logistics role and he has contributed to informal meetings with ideas for the company moving forward.
Scott carries out diligent and comprehensive work on the administration end of the despatch arm of the company (priceless) and undertakes local deliveries driving the company van.
Scott will work in the most flexible way to accommodate colleagues’ requirements, including covering for weekends and holidays.
I have seldom worked with anyone so helpful and enthusiastic!
Scott is a brilliant team player and a conscientious lone worker who quickly became an asset for the team.
The question you may well ask is 'how can this be the case?'
The answer is simple; Scott does not fit in with the populous ideal of a human being.
His appearance, nomadic lifestyle and health problems has led major parts of society to shun, exclude and dismiss him. A heavy burden for him to carry.
At Burncoose Nurseries, we have the ability to look past this and see him as a human being, a very valuable one at that, both in and outside of the workplace, he is an inspiration to myself, and anyone that knows him, the person.
I would also like to add the without the services of Frankie this scenario would never had gotten off of the ground, and can say, after working with Frankie for many years, that he is an asset to all the vunerable adults he works with and is a pleasure to work alongside.