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One LAD with Down's Syndrome is living his best life after landing his dream job as a scaffolder.
A Coles Scaffolding Contractors Ltd firm in Swindon has given 29-year-old Todd Scanlon a permanent, part-time contract after he apparently 'begged' owner Martyn Coles, 35, repeatedly over the course of two years.
As the saying goes, "If at once you don't succeed, try, try, try again." In Todd's case, his persistence paid off, as Martyn finally decided to take him on as an apprentice scaffolder for two full days a week. Get in!
Already Todd's passion has shone through, taking pride in every task he is handed and carrying out all of his duties with a smile.
He's kitted up the same as everyone else, and helps out with the scaffolding to make sure it is safe and level.
He said: "I like all of it except the heights. I like being at the bottom of the scaffolding best. It can be a bit scary going up high, because it can be shaky.
"I like helping Colesy, my boss. I wanted to be a scaffolder because I like to help people. I carry all the tubes [poles] - the 10-foot, the 16-foot, up to the 20-foot ones."
Martyn has said he is delighted with Todd's efforts and it's even led the company to adopt the slogan 'No Stigma' in a bid to remind the employees that no one's disability should hold them back from having the same opportunity as others.
The business owner said: "We just want to show that he can do it. Everyone is entitled to work.
"It doesn't matter if you have a disability, or you come from a broken home, or whatever. I'm more than willing to give everyone a chance.
"If you know him, you'll know that he loves what he does. Anything you ask him to do, he'll do it.
"Todd does all the same tasks as us. He'll get the tools ready to be loaded onto the van, and he'll bring all the fittings out from the van at each site.
"He does a lot. So far, there hasn't been any limits to what he can help with - and I don't think there are going to be any."
In short, it's a win-win for everyone involved. But that's not all - Martyn added that he is now working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CIBT), who organise all his company's apprenticeships, to train Todd up properly and get him his Level 2 NVQ scaffolding qualification.
And Todd has even been nominated for the Swindon Advertiser's Wiltshire Community Pride Awards, and has been shortlisted as a finalist, with the ceremony taking place on 26 October. Good luck to Todd and his bright future - looks like he's going places.
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