Tesco staff with Matthew

Delivering independence

We will always prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges we face. That includes supporting people with disabilities into paid work – helping them to gain independence and in turn reducing the need for them to access more traditional care services.

Tesco worker Matthew loads a customer's shopping into a delivery vanLast year, our supported employment team began working with more than 60 new clients and supported 43 of them into paid employment. Matthew, who’s from the Knutsford area and has autism, received help after struggling to find suitable employment since finishing his last job.

With support from work placement officer Lou Smith, he secured a job with Tesco and advanced to become a delivery driver – something the motor enthusiast had set his sights on. He was recently named one of the supermarket chain’s national ‘customer delivery service superstars’.

“This job has made a huge difference to me and I love coming to work,” said Matthew. “I’ve got to know a lot more people and my confidence has really built up.”

From identifying employment skills and support needs, to helping him to complete his initial job application and accompanying him to the interview itself, Lou was there for Matthew each step of the way.

She said: “Matthew’s face beams with pride when he talks about what he’s done at work. I’m so proud of how he’s stayed totally committed to achieving his goals.”

Chris Taylor, Matthew’s manager, added: “Matthew has done so well and we’ve pushed him out of his comfort zone. He’s an asset to our department.”

To find out more about the range of services and support available in Cheshire East, visit supported employment.