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Adam Taylor is 23 and moved into the leisure industry after he graduated from Swansea University. He recently joined our training scheme and our team at Pencoed (South Wales), and has already completed four qualifications including a Level 3 Award in Education and Training, an RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Qualification Training Assessor course, and STA Award Course in Swim Teaching, and a STA Pool Water Treatment Course.

The support Halo offer and their way of working was a positive surprise. I came from another, larger leisure group and thought it would be a similar environment here. But there is something different about the approach. The induction process was not only thorough but saw me speaking to a lot of different people from different sites and departments in the organisation – in groups and one-to-one throughout – and my line manager was incredibly approachable.

There was a sense of belonging from the start. I felt part of a team from day 1 and was not only learning about everyone’s different roles but, within the first few weeks, reflecting with my manager about the direction I wanted to take. I am in customer service now, but they know my ambition is to become a general manager. As opportunities arise I’m always asked if I want to have a go, not only where I’ve shown an immediate interest, but if it creates a chance to learn or see a different side of the business. And the formal training options are incredible.

There is a training schedule you can book into when you have chosen your career path, and which is reviewed as you progress. I’m in Pencoed at the moment, where the key offer is the pool. But at the same time I’m doing a Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification (there’s a small gym here) and a management qualification. I have, since starting, completed four training courses and am currently studying for two management courses and, this month, started on a further swim teaching qualification.

Like most people in their late 20’s early 30’s, I found myself in 2021 facing somewhat of an existential crisis. I was in a job that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t the job that I had trained for. As someone trained in a creative field, finding a job in that field without moving to a big city can be difficult. This was made even more difficult by the fact that I also happen to be disabled.

When I saw the job posting for the Digital Marketing Coordinator with Halo it ticked all my boxes for the type of career I wanted. More importantly, it ticked all my boxes for the type of accommodations I needed as well. There were options to work from home, one of the staff benefits was a wellbeing plan that included optical and dental (something very helpful for those of us with connective tissue disorders) and the job description and application process were easy to understand and use.

The thing that struck me the most was the interview process itself. From the start the main word I would use to describe the whole process was “considerate”. There was no part of the process where myself and my disability did not come first. After the first part of the interview process there was even a second meeting with my soon to be manager and the people director just to discuss my disability and specifically what they could do as a potential employer to best support me and ask what I would need from them. This was all before I had even been offered the job. Needless to say, if there was any part of me that was still doubting whether or not I should be changing jobs in the middle of a pandemic, this meeting was the thing that made up my mind.

Since joining Halo it has been more of the same, I have been constantly supported by my manager and my team. Wherever possible, my work environment and set up are best optimised for my health and personal comfort and as a result of that I’ve been able to jump head first into the job and give it my all. There are still days where I don’t feel 100%, but I know that on days like that I can contact my manager and there is always a way to work around it where my health is the priority.

2021 was a strange year, but I can safely say that applying for my job at Halo Leisure was one of the best parts of it.

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