Case Study

Case Study - Gemma

Case Study - Gemma

Gemma, Retail Sales Assistant at Heart & Home Newry

Clanrye Retail Social Enterprise Opens New Doors for Gemma

Gemma joined Clanrye Retail Social Enterprise (CRSE) in November 2011 to gain experience and achieve qualifications in a retail setting.  Gemma who has Cerebral Palsy was finding her job as a waitress hard to maintain as it involved a lot of heavy lifting and required balance.  As a result of this she felt there was limited opportunity for her to progress much further in the catering industry.

After some encouragement from Stephen Mc Clelland from Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, Gemma contacted Clanrye Retail Social Enterprise to find out if she was eligible to apply for a training place. Gemma explained, “This was a very daunting experience for me as retail was not a career I would have considered before.  I am quite shy and really didn’t believe I would have the skills and confidence necessary to interact with customers.”

Gemma’s fears were unfounded and she quickly settled into the retail programme.  Alongside up skilling in retail and customer service qualifications she undertook a work placement at Clanrye Retail Social Enterprise’s gift shop Heart & Home located at The Quays Shopping Centre, Newry.  Whilst in a supported position Gemma was given the opportunity to put the knowledge and skills she had learned into practice getting involved in all aspects of retail from serving customers to assisting the manager with window displays.

Rachel Ervine, Retail Manager at Heart & Home stated, “Gemma was a natural.  She is very bubbly and obliging and once we got over some confidence issues she excelled in customer service.”

With the recent opening of a second Heart & Home gift shop located at Slieve Gullion Courtyard Gemma has secured a position as a retail sales assistant, a job she is thoroughly enjoying.

For further information on Clanrye Retail Social Enterprise (CRSE) contact Judith Poucher, Project Manager on 028 3089 8119 or email Judith.poucher@clanryegroup.com