ASDA store in Bangor develops work experience programme for Ignite2 participants

Participants on Orchardville’s Ignite2 project have commenced a programme of targeted work experience in conjunction with ASDA store in Bangor. The initiative will see 12 Ignite2 participants sample a programme of work experience and undertake mock interview sessions. Participants can select the area of the store they would like to sample work experience in across home & leisure, grocery, non-edible grocery, chilled goods and tills receiving full induction and in-work support from nominated ASDA store colleague buddies and section team leaders.


The initiative has been driven by Lauren Elliott (Asda Bangor Service Host)  who, after holding an initial session alongside Kirstie Semple (People Business Partner) with local disability service providers in North Down and Ards over Zoom, explained what the scheme would entail. Attending this initial session was one of our Employment Officers Angela Gordon who went on to further liaise with Kirstie Semple in arranging 12 placement opportunities  for Orchardville participants.  The initial session and subsequent programme is part of ASDA’s ongoing commitment to better understanding the barriers preventing people with disabilities from applying for and securing store colleague roles.

Commenting on the scheme ASDA People Business Partner Kirsty Semple said “I am so proud to be involved in the partnership which has been developed between Asda and Orchardville. It has been a pleasure to get to know both Angela Gordon at Orchardville and the Ignite2 participants and I look forward to seeing the positive impact our partnership has on the individuals involved as well as strengthening the diversity and inclusion agenda within Asda. I hope the experiences gained pave the way to paid employment for the participants and build a better future for individuals in the local community with disabilities.”

Service Host Lauren Elliott further added “I’m really honoured to be involved in this new initiative between Orchardville and Asda Bangor. Asda gave me a platform to reach out to people with disabilities in the local community, to discuss employment from applications through to reasonable adjustments in the workplace. To see this initial idea, evolve to a bespoke work experience opportunity has been simply amazing. I look forward to meeting all of the ignite2 participants to store over the next number of months.”

Ignite2 participant Andrew Billimore (pictured) was the first person to complete the scheme in ASDA’s Bangor store. Reflecting on his experience Andrew commented ”It was amazing! I had the best time ever working with friendly staff and enjoyed working tills and chatting with customers. “


“Sampling work experience can be so important for adults with autism and or learning disability as it equips them with skills needed to achieve sustainable paid employment. This vocational learning gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable potential. Seeing Andrew’s confidence in his abilities flourish has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his time at Asda. I look forward to continue working in partnership with Asda and am very encouraged that even during these challenging times of covid19 that employers like Asda have such a person-centred approach in all that they do,  promoting opportunities for all and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace .” (Angela Gordon Orchardville Employment Officer) .

Orchardville would like to thank ASDA and their staff for developing the work experience programme creating new opportunities for people with disabilities in the local community.  We would also like to say a well done to Andrew Billimore on being the first person to complete the scheme in ASDA’s Bangor store and also to Angela Gordon for helping to arrange 12 placement opportunities for Orchardville participants.

If you would like more info on how Orchardville ESF funded Ignite2 project can help you secure the the job that’s right for you and keep it contact or for more information


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