Midcounties supports internships for pupils with autism
Published 16 Aug 2019
The Midcounties Co-operative is celebrating the first graduate of its retail internship scheme with Pebble Brook School, which was launched last year to support students with autism in Aylesbury in gaining work-based learning qualifications.
Salama Khan recently became the first student from Pebble Brook, which supports young people with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, to complete the qualification after working with the Midcounties team in Fairford Leys since January 2018. As a result, he has gained an NVQ Level 2, which is recognised as the equivalent to 4-5 GCSEs graded A*-C.
The internship sees pupils develop a range of practical skills by working across a number of different retail areas, including customer service, collection and replenishment, as part of the ongoing initiative.
The Society has also led a wide range of fundraising projects to support Pebble Brook as part of its charity partnership initiative, including donating more than £1,800 raised from the government’s compulsory carrier bag levy to the school to enable the construction of a multi-use games area for the school children. Colleagues have also run workshops and educational sessions on key issues such as Fairtrade and sustainability.
Mrs Jackie Robson, Head of the Further Education Department at Pebble Brook School, said: “We want to give all our students the best possible preparation for life after school, and that involves helping them find the right further education course or employment when they leave us.
“Working with the Midcounties has been absolutely invaluable to Salama and given him a range of skills as he prepares to take his next step, as well as a qualification that will be recognised by employers. The support that colleagues have offered him has been incredible and we hope that more of our students can benefit from their guidance in the future.”
Mike Pickering, a Leadership Team Ambassador for Aylesbury at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Salama showed great commitment and aptitude during his time working with us and we’re all incredibly proud to see him earn this qualification. There’s absolutely no doubt that he deserves it after all the hard work he’s put in.
“Our colleagues have all enjoyed working with Salama and we look forward to continuing doing everything we can to help prepare more Pebble Brook students for life after school as part of our charity partnership.”
For more about The Midcounties Co-operative, go to www.midcounties.coop or @midcountiescoop on Twitter
For more information, please contact:
Tom Milner | Citypress | 0121 295 6943 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
The Midcounties Co-operative has headquarters in Warwickshire, with trading outlets in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Avon, Somerset, Dorset, Worcestershire and the surrounding counties.
The Society trades in food retail, funeral, travel, pharmacy, childcare nurseries, flexible benefits and energy, as well as running a number of post offices. Midcounties is the largest independent co-operative society in the UK and has more than 500 sites and 700,000 members. In 2018 we distributed £1.3million to members as share of profits.
The Society's mission statement is 'To be a successful consumer co-operative working towards creating a better, fairer world, and to enhance the lives of our colleagues, members, customers, and the communities we serve’.