Mary is Bristol Together’s first ever female employee. She joined us at the beginning of 2020, having just been release after serving a 10-year sentence and having spent all of her adult life in prison. From the outset it was clear that Mary was highly committed to being at work on time and with a clear purpose to learn new skills. Having spent the first few months working on basic labouring activities in support of the skilled tradespeople on site, she was soon started to show her interest in plastering. After only a few weeks on on-the-job training, working alongside experienced plasterers who were willing to teach her, she had become an accomplished plasterer, capable of skimming walls and ceilings in the newly built rooms at the Staple Hill Road site.
Mary fitted in well with the other staff very quickly, and soon became an informal leader, encouraging other staff with their tasks and being direct with them when she believed that standards were not being met. Later in the year, Mary was placed on a site supervisors training course and gained a qualification in this area. She has subsequently been given some supervisory responsibilities and will continue to do more of this in the coming months at the Tavistock Road development project.