Wiltshire Police is a top disability employer
The BASE Practitioner Awards celebrate remarkable work that goes on across the country by supported employment services, education establishments and employers to promote the employment aspirations of disabled job seekers.
Wiltshire Police was nominated by WorkFit in the Best Employer Practice category at the annual awards presented at the BASE Conference in Milton Keynes on Tuesday 27 November 2018.
WorkFit is a service offered by the Downs Syndrome Association to support and train employers about the learning associated with people with Down's syndrome and finding the right employment opportunities for jobseekers.
Wiltshire Police has established a strong track record providing a range of opportunities for people with Down's syndrome and actively supports fundraising for the Downs Syndrome Association.
Two members of the team, Luke Newton and Jeremy Grew, who both have Down's Syndrome, picked up the award, alongside Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and senior managers from the 24 hour Crime and Communications Centre (CCC) who have led the way in encouraging greater diversity in the workplace.
"We were honoured to have been nominated by WorkFit for this award," said Head of Contact Management John Flynn. "We're passionate about supporting people with disabilities into Wiltshire Police - reflecting our communities within the workplace is simply the right thing to do."
"The award focussed on the work we've done helping people with Downs Syndrome gain employment or become a volunteer, enabling them to fulfil their personal goals, while adding value to our organisation.
"Equality and inclusion are core values we believe in and we are proud to have welcomed many disabled people into our workplace."
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard joined Luke and Jeremy on stage to collect the award and said afterwards "It was amazing to join you all for the evening, celebrating the huge difference that is brought through inclusion. The WorkFit programme is important to us and integral to our culture."
Luke works part time in the CCC and recently achieved a City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Employability Skills. He now wants to study for an NVQ in Business Administration. Jeremy has been a volunteer at Devizes HQ in the Fleet Team for just over a year and also volunteers at his local fire station.
Earlier this year Wiltshire Police became the first police force in the country to be awarded Disability Confident Leader status by the Government, in recognition of its work on disability and employment.