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Norwich Airport celebrates Assist Trust partnership

Norwich Airport celebrates Assist Trust partnership

A work placement scheme for people with learning disabilities at Norwich Airport is celebrating success with five people now working at the airport as volunteers since the scheme was launched in May last year.

Charity Assist Trust, which proves support and opportunities for adults in Norfolk with learning disabilities, says Norwich Airport provides one of the most important placement schemes it has.

A total of five Assist Trust members – Paul, Matthew, Nicky, Nathan and David – have taken on a variety of part-time roles at the airport, with David and Matthew having just completed their first six months in the job.

Duties include greeting passengers, assisting with baggage, helping disabled passengers through the terminal and security, cleaning tables and washing up.

By providing meaningful work placements in a busy working environment the aim is to help people gain confidence, self-esteem and increase their independence, and potentially progress to paid work.

Jamie Price, Airport Security Manager at Norwich Airport, was instrumental in setting up the work placements with Assist. He said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support people with their personal development and all the Assist Trust volunteers have really become part of the airport team. We hope our experience will encourage other Norwich businesses to look at how they can provide similar placements for people with learning disabilities.”

Roger Bilton-Hill, Supported Employment Team Leader at Assist said: “Norwich Airport provides fantastic support for our members and it’s one of the most important placements we have. The experience they are getting in a busy working environment is just invaluable and we hope that some of our volunteers can progress to paid work, which is very rare for an adult with learning disabilities.”

Assist Trust is Norwich Airport’s adopted charity this year and supports over 130 adults in Norfolk with a range of services including employment and travel training, housing support, daily living skills, and health promotion through sports and healthy living groups.

Norwich Airport employs around 280 staff and handles more than half a million passengers a year. It is part of Regional & City Airports, the airport management division of Rigby Group plc which also owns and operates Coventry Airport, Exeter Airport and Bournemouth Airport.

(left to right): Aaron Frost, PRM Services Trainer, Norwich Airport; Assist Trust members Paul, Nicky and Nathan; Roger Bilton-Hill, Supported Employment Team Leader at Assist Trust, and Jamie Price, Airport Security Manager at Norwich Airport. Picture: James Bass Photography