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You’re not ready



One worker-director’s personal journey

I value myself as an ordinary person, as a human being, and went down the route of looking for employment. I was told by Job Centre Plus that I had to seek advice from a disability employment advisor (DEA). I attended the appointment where the DEA spent the appointment on explaining how I’d never find employment. It made me feel unworthy and felt I was the problem, where the problem was they couldn’t find the appropriate employment for me because it wasn’t out there.

So the message I’m giving is it wasn’t my problem, it was theirs.

So, he sent me to supported employment agencies that he thought would suit me, and the various work placements and training came into this. I decided to knock that on the head because it made me feel ‘special’ in the shut out and stared at way. And none of it led to employment.

I’ve always remembered the Wetherspoon’s story, and that story kept me going. Wetherspoon’s was started by someone who was told by his teacher he would never succeed in business.  The teacher’s name was Wetherspoon, so that’s what the man called his first successful business. 

Now I’m the one who’s proved them wrong. I have created work for myself and other people. It just needed people who shared my vision to come together and get on with it – some of those people are now colleagues and some are from outside Barod, including the Work Choice provider I finally got myself referred to.

And, in case you are wondering, Barod isn’t the name of my old teacher but it was chosen for the same reason. Job Centre Plus said I wasn’t ready. The Disability Employment Advisor back then sent me on courses because I wasn’t ready.

Our company?


 It’s called Barod, because we are in Wales and in Welsh, Barod means Ready.  

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Let's celebrate

Barod formally started on 31st January 2013. We started trading June 2013.

This year we celebrate five years of existing.

That may not sound a huge achievement. But it is. We were trying to do something rarely attempted, and never before achieved: a cooperative of equals, all deciding that we wanted to come together as a cooperative, all earning equal pay, all with an equal say in running the company, all colleagues with the same status, despite living in a society that assumes people with and without learning disabilities are not equal.

To everyone who said the idea of Barod was unrealistic or impossible - Hello! We found a way to make it happen. And five years later we are still here to tell the tale.   To the person in the job centre who said 'starting a business isn't for people like you' - we think you'll find we've proved that it is. 
For five years, we have worked together. We have proved we were all ready to work, ready to run a business together and ready …