Making a difference: Employers story

How did you find out about Enable?

Joanna: We learned about Enable through the Kickstart Scheme. And through that actually, some of the applicants we received, were contacted directly by Enable. And so from there, we learnt more about the organization itself and what it does. We think the Kickstart Scheme was an absolutely brilliant scheme and are so impressed with it. Enable is also a brilliant organisation. It’s a win-win really and there are a lot of young people out there with incredible skills, passions and areas that to be developed. It’s just having the opportunity, and it’s something as a business we’ve always wanted to do.

It’s part of our ethos to try and have a positive impact, on the people that we work with and those around us. The chance and opportunities for young people are great. And obviously on the other side, as a business, working with Enable gave us the chance to expand the team a little bit. And, you know, particularly during the pandemic and after the pandemic, it helped get back to, where we wanted to be, and we’ve had some really great success stories from that.

Could you give me a bit of background about your position at Iron and Fire?

Joanna: Yes, so I’m a director. Myself and Kevin our business partners. Kevin started the business, and he’s the knowledge and brains. All the experience behind the project itself and the extensive knowledge of coffee came in when he started. I joined in 2016 and brought my marketing skills, project management skills, and operational skills. All of those things to help, sort of, you know, bring the business. Into more towards where it is today alongside Kev. So yes, so I look after the marketing side and operational side and the projects that we run and many other things as well,

What were your initial reactions to having someone from Enable work with you?

Joanna: Fantastic, you know, really good. In the applications Enable put forward, we could see a little bit about the people, and we were really keen to meet them. We had a few guys who came in for an interview who were great. And we’ve got a young chap, who’s with us on a permanent contract now, thanks to Enable, and he is absolutely fantastic. He’s developed his skills. He’s really excelling. He’s just brilliant. He’s a real asset to the team.

And for him, he said that we’ve made a real difference. He lost a lot of confidence during the pandemic,  quite dejected by the situation. He wasn’t working. He’s a role model to his younger siblings.  And now in his words, he’s got a spring in his step. When he gets up and comes to work, he’s got his purpose back. But more than that, as well for us, he genuinely contributes to the running of the business. So we’re really pleased.

Did you have any concerns at all at the beginning?

Joanna: No, because I think we’ve got a good structure in place. We’ve got a really great team. Our manager is fantastic with the staff. We’re very supportive in the best way that we can be. And we also have great contact with the Enable team. So any concerns, any queries that we might have had, we could just come back to Enable and the Enable team have always been very, very responsive and supportive of what we’ve done. So no, we haven’t had any concerns, and if we have any queries they’ve been sorted out.

 What have been the benefits for you working alongside Enable?

Joanna: Working with Enable has been great. From a business benefit, we’ve managed to bring in extra members of staff that we can train. But again, it’s about knowing that we’ve been able to fulfil a position and give a position to somebody that’s good for the business. We’ve made a difference to them and that is important to us. It’s really important to us that we feel that we’re doing the best that we can.

How have you found working with Enable?

Joanna: Really positive and very responsive. The guys I’ve spoken to at Enable have been great, and really friendly. But yeah, really friendly staff, very supportive, very responsive.

How has your employee got on? Did they settle in well?

Joanna: Yes, and he has settled in really well. He’s just great, he gets on with the team, he works really hard, and he really shows initiative. If he feels like he needs something to do, he’ll just pick up a broom and brush around. He keeps himself busy and so he’s a great asset to the team. He settled in very quickly, our manager as well has got a lot to do with that, as well as the rest of the team being very close. Nick. We’ve made him feel comfortable and settled and obviously offered that support network. 

Would you recommend using Enable?

Joanna: I would absolutely recommend using Enable, no matter what background or circumstances people are in. Everybody’s got strengths. I think the right environment and the right level of support bring out the best in people, and Enable can do that. Working with Enable has been really positive.

-Joanna, Director of Iron and Fire.