Bulky Bob’s Drivers Named Mentors of the Year
Bulky Bob’s drivers have been rewarded for the many years they have spent mentoring long term unemployed people and helping them into permanent work.
They were named Mentors of the Year at the recent Social Enterprise Network awards, sovaldi a ceremony to celebrate the best in social enterprises across the region.
Helen White, health Bulky Bob’s Operations Manager, explained: “We nominated all of our Bulky Bob’s drivers who work so hard to support our trainees and work placements. Our drivers do a fantastic job helping trainees get the experience and qualifications they need to find long term employment and we are delighted they have recognised for their hard work and commitment.”
Bulky Bob’s collects bulky household waste across Liverpool for Liverpool City Council, reusing and recycling over 60% of everything collected – the Bulky Bob’s purple vans are a familiar sight around the city.
Each Bulky Bob’s crew has one driver/mentor and two Driving Change trainees – Driving Change is Bulky Bob’s year-long paid training scheme targeting long term unemployed people to help them obtain a range of logistics and warehouse qualifications.
Ged Gormley has been a Bulky Bob’s driver/mentor for 9 years. He said: “We were really pleased to win this award. The lads work very hard to bring on the trainees each year and help them to go on to get a permanent job. It’s not always an easy job so it’s good to get a pat on the back.”
The Bulky Bob’s Drivers help to recruit new trainees and deliver on the job training. They also flag up any additional issues that they think need dealing with – for example if they find out that any trainees are facing debt issues or personal problems, they let the People and Learning team know so further help can be offered. They support and encourage the trainees, helping them to prepare for tests for new qualifications and teaching them new skills.
Helen said: “Every year our Driver/Mentors effectively have a brand new crew to work with who can take time to not only learn the requirements of the job, but also learn what is expected of an employee as they have all been previously unemployed for at least six months. Our Driver/Mentors rise to the challenge every year, building a strong team around them and continuing to deliver a fantastic service.”
In the past year Bulky Bob’s has worked with 15 Driving Change trainees and 178 people took part in Launch Pad, Bulky Bob’s volunteer and work experience scheme. Four of the current drivers are former Driving Changers themselves so they understand the challenges and pressures the trainees face.
Trainees say they feel more positive about life and better prepared for the world of work after completing the scheme and Bulky Bob’s also regularly receives positive comments from clients and employers. Learn Direct said Bulky Bob’s treat their placements as people, not numbers, and offer a well rounded programme of professional and personal development and support. The Princes Trust said they rely on Bulky Bob’s for good supportive work placements.
Bulky Bob’s trainees last year obtained 77 qualifications between them, an average of 6 each.
Shaun Doran, Chief Executive of Bulky Bob’s parent charity, FRC Group, said: “Well done to our drivers. It is hard to have a new crew to work with every year but they rise to the challenge magnificently and really help our trainees to develop and move onto permanent jobs. Thank you to SEN for helping us to celebrate their hard work.”