The Rann Wartha, in St Austell, was presented with an award by charity Action for Blind People, recognising good practice in employing a partially sighted person. The ‘See the Capability, not the Disability’ award followed a nomination made by the pub’s employee Sarah Reynolds.
Sarah, who has the eye condition degenerative myopia, worked at the pub managed by Chris Weeks for five years, before her sight started to deteriorate. She has since benefited from the company’s commitment to create an environment which allows her to remain a valuable employee, regardless of visual impairment.
Wetherspoon’s personnel managers liaised with Action for Blind People, resulting in the necessary changes to Sarah’s work environment.
This has included Sarah receiving a new video magnifier, meaning that she can now read menus and labels on bottles easily.
The company has also changed the lighting around her work space, especially around the coffee machine area, which helps her to see better, when making drinks.
Managers have also ensured that all colleagues at The Rann Wartha are aware of Sarah’s condition and that they work together to help her, if needed.
Her colleagues also make sure that Sarah gets to work and home safely, plus, for nine months, while Sarah was off work because of her sight deteriorating, Wetherspoon kept her job open.
Sarah said: “The support I get from Wetherspoon is fantastic. Everyone has gone above and beyond to ensure I have everything I need to continue my job. I can’t thank them enough.
“When I started to lose my sight, I was really scared that I would have to give up work, but, through the help and support from Action for Blind People and Wetherspoon, I am able to stay in the job I really enjoy.”
Action for Blind People’s employment coordinator, Helen Adams, said: “Wetherspoon has been incredible. It has supported Sarah through a difficult adjustment; its attitude and consideration for her needs have been second to none.
“It is heartening to find an employer in the catering and hospitality sector which does not discriminate over grounds of health and safety and which is willing to make efforts to overcome the barriers presented by Sarah’s sight loss.
“Every day, we help many people with sight loss to gain and retain employment, while promoting good practice among employers.
“Wetherspoon is a worthy recipient of our ‘See the Capability, not the Disability’ award.”