It was the end of an era at Vinnies Busselton earlier this year when Brent retired after almost 25 years working at the store. He was one of the store’s longest-serving employees, and one of Forrest Personnel’s long-term participants.
Brent lives with intellectual disability, so showing up to work as the store cleaner twice a week brought stability and friendship, not to mention a sense of purpose.
“You’ve got to have something to do, otherwise it’s no good if you’re out on the street and unemployed,” he says. “If it wasn’t for Vinnies, I’d be all over the place – they kept me good. We enjoyed each other’s company and it helps.”
For store manager Trish, Brent was an invaluable team member.
“If you asked him to do something, even if it was outside his comfort zone, he would do it,” she says. “Having Brent here provided reliability for me, the staff and the volunteers.
“The support that Forrest Personnel gave to Brent and to us was great – they made sure he was doing okay and they kept in contact with us. It’s been good all round that Forrest Personnel has kept this arrangement going.”
For Forrest Personnel Employment Consultant Chris, Brent’s retirement was bittersweet. Chris has been working with Brent and seeing him every week for the past 10 years.
“I was connected with him when I started with Forrest Personnel – so we have had a long-term relationship,” Chris says. “Brent was very dedicated to his work, he was someone you could rely on to do his best and to get on with everyone he worked with.
“He loved being able to work – a few years back he held three different jobs, but the time has come, and I am really glad that he will be able to just enjoy his retirement from now on.”