Inspiring Coventry volunteer honoured with Lord Mayor’s award - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

Inspiring Coventry volunteer honoured with Lord Mayor’s award

Ryan Smith 5th Apr, 2022

AN INSPIRING volunteer has been honoured with a certificate of appreciation by The Lord Mayor of Coventry to recognise his work with St Francis Employability.

Nathan Wileman is autistic and has been volunteering through the charity since last year, where he has overcome his nervousness to become a key member of their team.

Nathan, 21, also takes part in the charity’s volunteer training programme, which seeks to develop a number of key employability skills which look good on participants’ CVs.

The programme is held at Radfords St Francis of Assisi Church.

Nathan was one of several volunteers at St Francis Employability to be presented with the Lord Mayor’s award.

He was helped to secure the position by the Accelerate project, which works with partner organisations to give a range of free services to unemployed people in Coventry and Warwickshire.

These include CV training, interview skills, dealing with anxiety and building confidence.

After finishing college during lockdown, Nathan’s mum signed up to Accelerate after he was left unsure on what to do with his career.

He is now working with the organisation to find part-time paid employment, and believes the award will help him achieve his aim.

He added he was extremely pleased with his certificate from the Lord Mayor.

“I get lots of positive feedback from the other staff at St Francis Employability which makes me feel very proud of myself.”

Suzie Crowter, Accelerate Journey Guide from partner organisation Grapevine, said: “We are incredibly proud of Nathan, and the award is testament to his fantastic work.

“When he first came to us he had completed a cleaning internship with a social housing company but didn’t have any other work experience, so I suggested a volunteering role to build on this more.

“He absolutely loves the position and has gained a lot of experience and made new friends and connections.”

Accelerate is holding an event at Coventry Methodist Central Hall on May 11 which will aim to educate employers in Coventry on how they can be more supportive of people with disabilities who are job searching.

The event will be between 12pm and 1.30pm and Accelerate is looking for businesses wanting to participate.

To book a place at the event,  visit or email for more information.

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