The Entertainer toy shop is a breath of fresh air when it comes to meaningful, common-sense inclusion and celebration of diversity.

The toy store in Chatham is one of our Supported Internship employer partners and provides internship placements for two young people working with us on the programme. As with all of our placements, young people are matched to employers and positions to suit their aspirations and skills. This not only maximises the chance of a successful placement, with both employer and intern benefitting, but it ensures that placements are not tokenistic and simply arranged to meet targets.  The person is always at the heart of our work, and we work intensively with employers to ensure that they are also supported and have a positive placement experience.  Adam and Ben started working on placement in February and have thrived in their respective roles.

"Working with bemix has made us more conscious of what jobs to give to different people, taking their individual strengths on board" - Jo, Store Manager

In just a few months, Adam has gained experience in a wide range of tasks, including checking and changing prices, replenishing stock, organising displays, putting out deliveries and helping customers. One of Adams more recent roles has been running toy demonstrations in store. He recently was given the task of demoing a remote control car. Adam instantly became a big hit with the customers, showing that it was not only important to demo the toys but to interact with the children who came into the store.

"We do demos to show customers what we sell and to see if they like that toy, It also helps getting children into the shop. When I was demoing the remote control car, I could hear a little boy giggling at me and he said "I bet you can't get me with that car" so I started chasing him with it. He was happy having somebody to play with" - Adam, Intern at The Entertainer

In just 45 minutes of having fun with lots of customers, Adam influenced the sales of 8 of the remote control cars and also got himself a fantastic customer review from a very happy Mum! 

"We came in today with our one year old to purchase a few cars and animal toys that he likes. There was a man at the front playing with a racing car, he spoke to my son, let him play with the car for about 5 minutes. I purchased the two items that we came in for, while my son was still playing. We ended up buying the remote control car as well. Lady at the till was lovely - Jess. I spoke to the manager and told her that Adam, was really good with our son." - a highly satisfied customer

Adam is not just helping sales and happy customers, he's developing a range of employability skills at the same time.

"I like working at the Entertainer as it helps me with my behaviour and body language in the work place" - Adam

Like Adam, Ben has gained experience in a wide range of tasks, including checking and changing prices, replenishing stock, organising displays, putting out deliveries and helping customers. 

During April, Ben worked alongside his manager Maria to set up a brand new display for the growing stock of Nerf guns. The new display was twice the size of the old one which gave them space to be creative. With some guidance from Maria who was struggling with a hand injury at the time, Ben set up an impressive, organised display and priced everything up all in a couple of hours. Both store Managers, Maria and Jo, felt this would be a great job for Ben as he has a really good eye for detail. Not only did the display look great, but Ben cleared all the Nerf stock out of stock room and onto the shop display.

The inclusive and personalised support that Ben receives from his colleagues at The Entertainer is not only adding capacity to the business and keeping displays fresh, it is building Ben's confidence and experience.

"I enjoyed setting up the Nerf display. Time went by surprisingly quickly!  Whenever I don't know something, everybody tries to explain it and show me how to do things, but in a very kind and polite manner.  Working at the Entertainer gives me experience of keeping to a routine, helping with my time keeping and working in a time frame" - Ben, Intern at The Entertainer

It isn't just the workforce who are welcomed and included within the business. The store takes its diverse customer base into consideration, too.  "They are very kind and helpful when customers ask questions. They have a quiet hour for people who don't like noise" - Ben

Do you want support to get a job?         Are you an employer considering offering a placement?