New role for stroke victim forced from volunteering by health and safety (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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New role for stroke victim forced from volunteering by health and safety
A stroke victim forced out of her four-and-a-half-year volunteer job at a charity shop has started a new role.
Jan Quinlan, who walks with a limp, was devastated when she was asked to leave the Princess Alice Hospice shop in East Twickenham after a risk assessment carried out by staff at her home in Isleworth concluded it would be unsafe for her to work there.
A spokesman at Princess Alice said it was no longer safe for Miss Quinlan to work in the shop as her condition had deteriorated in recent years and she had problems with her mobility.
After reading her story in the Richmond and Twickenham Times, staff at the Geranium charity shop in Hampton Hill contacted the newspaper and said they wanted to offer the 61-year-old a job.
Store manager Vanessa Cash said she was shocked at how the former volunteer was treated and met her at the shop on Friday, August 23.
She said: “She is a really nice lady, very intelligent and very approachable.
“From a manager’s point of view, I am the only paid member of staff here, so the volunteers are absolutely invaluable to me.
“What Jan has done is really admirable.”
Mrs Cash, who has managed the shop in High Street for six years, has changed the seat by the till for Miss Quinlan, to make it more accessible for her.
Miss Quinlan was left paralysed on one side after a stroke in 1996, but regained movement in her body and walks with a slight limp and uses a crutch.
When she was told she was not allowed back to work at the Princess Alice shop, Miss Quinlan lost her confidence.
She started her first day behind the till at the Geranium shop on Wednesday, August 28, and will do two days a week.
She said: “It was brilliant, I absolutely loved it.
“It was incredibly busy, it was like being in a supermarket. It was wonderful, I did not stop working.
“The people who work there are lovely and the manager is fantastic.
“They were very accommodating to disabled people and made me feel like a normal person. I felt accepted and just like a normal person who has finished a day’s work.
“If I hadn’t had the courage to put this story in the newspaper then I would be out of a job.”
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