Josh Watts; Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie Rogers; and Asda Customer People Service Manager, Racheal Parke, pictured outside the store.
Josh Watts; Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie Rogers; and Asda Customer People Service Manager, Racheal Parke, pictured outside the store.

Asda Kilkeel has successfully helped local 26-year-old, Josh Watts, complete a four-week programme of work experience instore as part of the Positive Directions Programme, delivered by the Clanrye Group.

Aiming to train and support adults and young people with physical/learning disabilities and/ or long-term health conditions, the Clanrye Group worked alongside Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie Rogers, to offer Josh a placement to help him gain the confidence and experience required to progress in his career.

Kelly English, Employability Team Lead at Clanrye Group, said: “Josh is the first of our participants to gain work experience from this new partnership with Asda Kilkeel. As a smart and motivated individual, the opportunity to work with Asda was the experience Josh needed to help improve his social interaction within a working environment. 

“Following the successful completion of Josh’s placement, we already have our next participant lined up and ready to go, and I would like to say a special thank-you to Community Champion, Stephanie, for kickstarting the activity instore – and being a brilliant mentor to Josh.”

Josh, who lives in Castlewellan, added: “I really enjoyed my time at Asda Kilkeel working alongside Stephanie – and I learned so much over the four weeks spent at the store across different departments. I now feel more confident about interacting with others, and it has also given me an insight into how a big business operates. The colleagues at Asda Kilkeel really are a great bunch!”

Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie Rogers, added: “Both Josh’s Employability Mentor at the Clanrye Group, Maria Keenan, and I remarked on how much Josh’s confidence levels have improved – he is like a different person!

“I look forward to building on this great relationship with Kelly and the team, and I can’t wait to welcome the next student from Clanrye Group.”