Inaugural Patrick Greaux Award for Special Achievement 2016
Our colleague Patrick Greaux was born in St Kitts in the West Indies in 1958. He and his mother came over to England when he was just two years old.
After he left school, Patrick went to Potternewton Adult Training Centre, to college and to Moor End Day Services, run by Leeds City Council. He went to Moor End for many years and learnt woodwork and upholstery.
When we set up SLATE Furniture Store, he volunteered to come and work with us. He was part of the team, cleaning furniture, moving it and delivering it to customers’ houses. He was a strong and willing worker and always thorough in his cleaning. He would sit on the floor and dust out every drawer in a chest of drawers!
He applied for the paid post of Driver’s Mate and got it. “Got the job, got the job”, he kept saying, as though he couldn’t quite believe it. This was a real achievement, to get a paid job and come off benefits. We were all so proud of him!
SLATE was set up to provide furniture for people in need. Through his work, Patrick has helped hundreds of families get the furniture they need for their homes. Patrick worked closely with all the drivers out on the van, in the shop and assisting Richard with PAT testing for customers. He loved being one of the lads and joining in with the banter.
Later, when the shop moved to Low Road, Patrick learnt to commute to work by bus, an extraordinary achievement for someone who hadn’t been out alone before and who could not read or write.
The first award is made to Lynda Spink who has been the warm heart of SLATE since December 2011. When Lynda had an unlucky period of ill health in the winter of 2014/2015 she decided to retire. Since retiring Lynda has volunteered at SLATE; first with a clothes mountain at the warehouse and then at the shop. We all feel so lucky that she remains a key part of SLATE.
This post was written by Frances Jones using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.