We’re finalists. Congratulations to our recently qualified apprentices Macy Henderson, 20 and Manav Popat, 21 – who are in the running for Apprentice of the Year in the Northamptonshire Logistics Awards 2022.

Our talented and committed duo started their apprenticeships with us in 2019 and completed this spring - overcoming the challenges of lock-down to pass with flying colours.

Both now have junior leadership roles with us and one element of their role - Manav is based at our Wellingborough site and Macy is at our Corby site - is to support service-users with 'work'. This 'work' refers to our logistics and outsourcing arm – and it is for this reason that Manav and Macy have been unveiled as finalists in these annual logistics awards.

At Teamwork Trust, as part of our commitment to supporting our service users to gain education and employment experience and to work with and play a key role in the wider community, we provide a commercial outsourcing service to local and national businesses, from our three centres (Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough). All of the income is invested back into this not-for-profit organisation to support our service users.

Here’s a little about how our finalists incorporate logistics into their day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Manav and Macy support our service users to:

• Assemble items properly
• To understand what they are doing and why – e.g., what will happen to the assembled and/or packed product when it leaves Teamwork. Where in society it will be used.
• Understand and lead on their own quality control. Eg, ever 20 products to be checked and forms to be completed with a service user’s signature.
• Complete paperwork

Pre covid service users would sit together on large tables, with Macy and Manav sitting alongside for support and guidance.
Covid restrictions changed this. All service users – even post restrictions - now have their own stations, with glass divisions between each (people with learning difficulties are six times more likely to die of covid so we are rigid with our safety). This means Manav and Macy have to be more creative and flexible with the way their support users with their outsourcing work, such as providing ‘how to’ guides and videos on iPad.

Companies Teamwork supports include Winkhaus, Cab Seating and Multy UK. 

Vickie Bell, from Teamwork Trust, said: “Both Manav and Macy were profoundly affected by covid and struggled, like so many others. When they were able to come back to work, they displayed even more compassion than before for the service users. They were able to more deeply empathise with mental health challenges and to really relate to service users’ challenges. They were really good from day one at Teamwork, and covid – if it’s possible – made them even more incredible at their jobs. Both completed their apprenticeships at the same time and are now playing lead roles at their centres, supporting service users creatively, with empathy and with utter professionalism, not just with the logistics outsourcing work but also with their wider education and wellbeing.”
Manav first joined Teamwork as a volunteer, while Macy first came to Teamwork on a work experience placement from college. Both have now completed their two-year apprenticeship and are full time valued members of the team.

In Manav’s own words:

“I just love my job and having fun with the service users. I never thought I would go into this work. I did business at college but didn’t love it. My mum suggested Teamwork as she used to volunteer here, but to begin I wasn’t sure. I started my apprenticeship in 2019 but covid delayed my progress and I was furloughed when our centres were closed. I was determined to progress though and each piece of course work really helped me learn and understand Teamwork more. I love having fun with and supporting our service users. This job has utterly changed me.
“At first, I did not know what to think of it, is this for me? But being here has been so good for me and I’m really proud of my job, the role I have. At Teamwork Trust no one judges you, everyone has an open mind. I am shy, in fact I still struggle to speak to people but being here at Teamwork has hugely improved my own social skills. Thank you Teamwork. I’m excited for the future.”

In Macy’s own words:

“Teamwork has made me a more confident person. I have grown and I feel that what I do makes a difference to our service users here. I love seeing them laugh, smile and enjoy themselves. I was furloughed for a few months during covid and then started working, but from home. I would call service users every day and chat to them, for up to 45 minutes. Some were shorter calls than others, some didn’t want to speak, others wanted to speak every day.
Our service users really enjoy the outsourcing element of Teamwork, just one part of what we do and provide. They have routine, love ‘coming to work’ and relish that sense of involvement. They, quite rightly, see it as putting something back out into the community. I loved my apprenticeship and I am so thankful I found Teamwork. I feel really privileged.”

In the words of our service users:

• DF: The one thing I like about Macy is that she is always trying her best when she is with us to be a nice person. She always makes time for the members and is genuinely a kind and fun person to be around.
• RH: “Manav is approachable and friendly but do you know what the best thing is? He supports us when we need it, he doesn’t take over and do it for us but shows us how to do it for ourselves”

Meet all the finalists and find out more about the awards here: https://nlawards.co.uk/finalists/