Valuing Disability Business of the YearBack to Winners
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One of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations, Bluewater shopping centre welcomes millions of guests each year.
Not only are there 300 stores and 50 places to eat, but the company has a vision to exceed expectations and serve the local community.
Bluewater has made disability within the workforce a key driver in all aspects of its business.
The entire recruitment process was reviewed in alignment with its updated policy, eliminating potential obstacles and coaching managers in alternative methods of training. Specific training has included autism, mental health first aid, dementia and deaf awareness. Through these changes, the company has seen an increased number of people with disabilities now working for Bluewater.
The car parks have been audited to ensure there is appropriate space and facilities for disabled guest and workers. Bluewater is the UK’s first shopping centre to be recognised as level three disability confident by Purple, an organisation which advocates inclusiveness.
One of the individuals who joined the team during this time is Max Parker, who has autism. His support worker said: “Max has flourished in the role with structured support but has also been allowed to develop at his own pace.
The staff at Bluewater have been very inclusive and naturally supportive when he has to deal with frustrated or difficult customers. I believe Bluewater should be recognised for its approach towards including disabled people into its workforce.”