Through collaboration with Wincanton and Screwfix, charities ESO and Mencap have worked to create opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities to experience life in logistics.
People are at the heart of Wincanton. Embedding an inclusive culture across our business is of utmost importance as we believe in equal opportunities for all, and, by having this representation across our workforce, the business prospers.
Social value is a key part of our business and ensuring our teams are diverse and representative of the communities we work in is important to create a sustainable and future-proofed workforce. The benefits of this collaboration have been unparalleled for both those in the neurodiverse community and everyone working alongside them.
As a trusted supply chain partner to Kingfisher plc, Wincanton has worked with Screwfix providing warehousing and transport solutions since 2004, operating six distribution centres on behalf of the trade business across the UK.
The significance that social value holds in our business is demonstrated by our long-standing partnership with Screwfix and the promotion of diversity and building a workforce for the future.
Collaborating with charities to unlock career opportunities
Striving to become a more diverse and inclusive workplace, widening the talent pool and bringing a new level of energy and thinking into the site, Wincanton for Screwfix in Lichfield engaged with underrepresented groups in the community to ensure they fairly reflect this population in their workforce.
Showing people that there is opportunity and support in our industry for this experience and to highlight Wincanton’s drive to ensure equal opportunities for all was a key driver to this initiative. This led to a relationship with Equal Support Opportunities (ESO), a local organisation looking to help young people who have various physical, social, emotional and/or learning impairments to achieve the best outcomes for them and their families, while enhancing the lives of these individuals.
The Wincanton for Screwfix site created a course with a holistic and flexible structure that allowed individuals experience all areas of the operation over a four-week period which was adapted later to become a six-to-ten-week course. Those participating in the scheme were given experience across transport, warehouse picking, canteen, health and safety and facilities as well as others, tailored for each person to ensure it fitted their needs. At the end of the four weeks, a graduation ceremony is held to celebrate the successes of the individual? throughout their time with the team.
The success of the ESO project was recognised and Screwfix were approached by Mencap, a UK charity working to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and their families and fight alongside them for a better future. This collaboration introduced a target of employment for some individuals and the course was restructured to accommodate this.
The benefits of this initiative have been recognised widely and other Wincanton sites have started to engage with the scheme themselves after seeing the incredible value that it brings to sites and individuals.
Proving the success of this project and the strong relationships that have been made with the community, previous cohorts of ESO and Mencap were invited back to attend Christmas lunch at the Screwfix site, showing the true legacy that these incredible individuals have created.
Screwfix’s role throughout this partnership was to give members from the neuro diverse community some invaluable work and life experiences that could equip them with skills for the future, and even placements or permanent employment onsite.
What the customer says:
Ian Howe, Director of Logistics Screwfix
“The logistics function is a critical, diverse, fast-moving area of the Screwfix/Wincanton business and has a wide range of opportunities for those wanting to deliver value and gain fulfilment. At Screwfix we value diversity of all kinds and the benefits this brings to our customers and our business. I am delighted that the partnerships of ESO and Mencap, Wincanton and Screwfix, through this course, provided real opportunity and support for the neurodiverse community, giving them the skills for potential placements or employment with us.”
Nikki Foley, General Manager
“Our ESO and Mencap initiatives have added real value to our site culture and many of our colleagues are proud to support the programme. Seeing our cohorts grow in confidence and skills across their time in Lichfield is one of the proudest career moments I’ve had”.
Anthony Hemmings, ESO
“All I ever want for our young people is for them to have hope and opportunity, working with Screwfix/Wincanton has given them the opportunity to learn new skills to support their development with the hope that some will gain employment”.
Fran Nevin, Mencap
“I wholeheartedly believe that Screwfix/Wincanton Lichfield should promote themselves as a ‘Beacon Distribution Centre’ for providing opportunities to individuals with learning disabilities and difficulties to experience and demonstrate their interest and ability to work in a Distribution Centre. Lichfield have gone above and beyond in providing well organised and thought-out opportunities for our learners to experience the various aspects of the business”.