A MAN whose disabled brother worked at a recycling charity for 10 years – and had the “best time of his life” – has attacked the council for cancelling its contract.
Earlier this year, Powys County Council (PCC) decided the work done by charity Cae Post, in collecting recycling from 5,000 properties, should be done by its own staff.
This resulted in 17 of the charity’s workers being made redundant.
Nigel Picken’s brother, Philip, worked at Cae Post for 10 years, and is seeking an explanation for PCC’s decision.
Philip sadly died after his time with Cae Post, but Nigel said it gave him a meaning and questioned why the council has ended such an “excellent service”.
He said: “His time with Cae Post was probably the best time of his life.
“There wasn’t much work in him before that and he went to work on the line there.
“It gave him a real meaning and a determination to do the best he could.
“He really loved doing ‘real work’.
“It was a lifeline for him after the adult learning centre in Newtown, it helped him integrate with not just disabled people, but all sorts of people.
“I am sure, like me, he would be so disappointed this has happened, because the charity has given a lot of help and pleasure to a lot of people.”
Mr Picken believes the council has denied disabled people opportunities like this.
He added: “This will be a great loss to the local community and will deprive the hundreds of disabled people who follow Philip, the opportunity of meaningful work with this recycling business.
“Please can the officers of Powys County Council explain to me why it was necessary to refuse to renew Cae Post’s contract when they have done such an excellent, cost effective and high valued job over the last 30 years.”
PCC’s head of operations, Jen Jeffreys, said: “Powys County Council’s Adult Social Care have a contract with Cae Post Social Enterprise to provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities to experience valued work related activity within the organisation.
“The contract is separate to the recycling contract that ended recently and will run until the end of June.
“Our service is currently supporting a number of service users, referred to as volunteers since they are not paid, undertaking work related vocational training within the organisation.
“The service has been in place for over 15 years.
“Adult Social Care is committed to supporting opportunities for people with learning disabilities to experience valued work related activities within their local community.”