An organisation which helps disabled people find employment has had double reason to celebrate.
Staff at Remploy held a celebratory party at their offices to mark 70 years since the organisation was formed to help people with disabilities or barriers into work.
A total of 70 balloons were released, each one including a label with prizes up for grabs for those who find one.
And they were also marking their first day being out of government ownership, setting up in partnership with Maximus while staff have been given a stake in the new business.
Although based in Newcastle, Remploy has helped people across North Tyneside and Northumberland find suitable employment or given them the support needed to go it alone.
They are supported by business partners including Marks & Spencer, Poundland, B&Q, Tesco, McDonald’s, Morrisons, Asda, and more.
We have an incredible opportunity to grow our businessMatt Reed, director of employer services at Remploy
As well as supporting people with disabilities, there is also help for those who face barriers or health conditions.
Advisors also run enterprise sessions for those looking at self employment, with a cash incentive of up to £500 to assist in starting up.
Matt Reed, director of employer services, said: “This is the most exciting day since Remploy was formed 70 years ago today.
“Not only are we celebrating this remarkable achievement, but today represents the next chapter in our proud history.
“Today we leave government ownership in a joint venture partnership with Maximus, an international health and employment specialist, and our own employees who have been given a 30 per cent stake in the new business.
“Maximus brings commercial knowledge and expertise, and will help Remploy to build on our existing success.
“Since 2010 we have helped almost 100,000 disabled and disadvantaged move into work.
“This represents an exciting change to our business, but one thing will remain a constant, our mission – to transform the lives of people with disabilities and health conditions by supporting them into long term sustainable jobs.
“We have an incredible opportunity to grow our business, and in doing so build on our proud legacy.”