A wigwammer's story - Luis
By: Laura, redwigwam
Luis, one of our wigwammers from Canvey Island near Basildon, has struggled to find work due to his disability. We chatted to him about how he's been fusing his previous experience with that of our flexible working platform to complete roles and top up his income.
I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy when I was three and have been in a wheelchair for most of my life.
I moved to the UK from South Africa in November 2020 to join my fiancé, Nikki, who works in finance for a care home company. What was meant to be a straightforward move was made more difficult because of Covid, and the sale of our house. The house we bought also needed adapting with ramps and medical equipment purchased before I could make the move.
In South Africa, I worked in business development and as an office manager for a renewable energy company. Since I left, I’ve been brushing up on my IT qualifications in my spare time because finding new work in a global pandemic in a new country is extremely difficult. I needed to quickly find flexible work that could fit in with my disability and which I could use to top up my income.
In February, I started as a Partnership Manager with CityMaaS, a tech company passionate about global inclusivity, online and off-line accessibility, data and mapping service. There are 14 million people in the UK registered with a disability and, as we continue to move more and more online, so many people are missing out on digital products and services that can help them.
Working from home and being in sales, your income tends to fluctuate, so it’s really useful for me to be able to top up my income with sporadic work from redwigwam.
"They have really achieved something that most companies don’t even consider and that is employment opportunities for people who have a disability of some kind. They have been brilliant for me in lots of ways".
Their team is amazing and always helpful, often going the extra mile to make sure I’m paid promptly. They’ve even helped me out with some of my Right to Work paperwork.
I like the company’s jobs where you go into supermarkets to check a specific brand is on the shelf and being promoted at the correct price. You have to tidy up the fixture and take photos of it and then buy it and file a detailed report on your findings.
A perk of the work is being able to experience various products that I wouldn’t normally buy. Jobs are fairly quick – they can take just 25 minutes – but you get paid a decent hourly rate (typically £8.50 - £9.50 per call) and I can fit them in around my timescales.
Covid has changed the world of work for ever and it’s brilliant to have a company like redwigwam providing flexible work for people who need it.