Man with Down's Syndrome is first in Britain to become fully-qualified scaffolder – Daily Mail

By Emer Scully For Mailonline


A man is set to become the first person with Down’s Syndrome to be a fully qualified scaffolder – just two years after being crowned Britain’s top apprentice.
Todd Scanlon, 32, was given a scaffolding apprenticeship by Martyn Coles at his company Coles Scaffolding three years ago.
Since then he has impressed both his colleagues and customers with his ‘enthusiasm, politeness and professional attitude’.
He later won a public vote to be named the UK’s top apprentice thanks to his ‘boundless energy’ and commitment.
Todd, from Swindon, Wilts., has recently been accepted onto a course to become a fully qualified scaffolder – a UK first for someone with Down’s Syndrome.
Todd Scanlon (pictured), 32, was given a scaffolding apprenticeship by Martyn Coles at his company Coles Scaffolding three years ago
Todd’s mother Vicky Scanlon has praised Martyn for giving Todd a chance where others wouldn’t.
She said: ‘You’ve helped Todd achieve so much, physically, mentally, passing courses and getting awards and that’s all down to you.
‘Unless you’ve been in a situation like mine, I can’t explain how much this means to me. I’m very proud of Todd, as you know, but I’m also very proud of you too.
‘I think Swindon should be proud of you for highlighting the issues that people with mental health and disabilities have with employment.’
She added: ‘When Todd was growing up you get used to the idea he won’t have the same life everybody else, but with Martyn doing this for him he’s getting there.
‘He’s gone beyond whatever I expected, he does go out of his way, I don’t know where he finds the time.’
Todd’s mother Vicky Scanlon has praised Martyn for giving Todd (pictured at work) a chance where others wouldn’t
Martyn said: ‘He has great determination. He comes in every day and proves people wrong. Having him on the site is great, he’s a good presence, all of the customers like him and he’s very polite.
‘When we took him on we didn’t have any worries. I know his capability, but he is still proving to be better than whatever expectations we have.
‘Everything you put in front of him he just does. He’s just shown that you can do it with the right guidance. He’s just a likeable guy.’
Speaking in 2019, Todd, said: ‘At the company I mainly do a lot of fittings and carrying. I wanted to go into scaffolding because it’s my favourite thing to do.’
Martyn says Todd had ‘begged’ him for a job for two years.
Speaking when he started in 2018, Todd said: ‘I like helping Colesy, my boss. I wanted to be a scaffolder because I like to help people. I carry all the tubes [poles] – the 10-foot, the 16-foot, up to the 20-foot ones.’
Todd works with five members of the team. He is kitted up the same as everyone else, helping to assemble the scaffolding and make sure it is safe and level.
Martyn’s company has adopted the slogan ‘No Stigma’, to show that Todd’s disability should not hold him back from having the same opportunity as others.
Martyn said: ‘We just want to show that he can do it. Everyone is entitled to work.
‘It doesn’t matter if you have a disability, or you come from a broken home, or whatever. I’m more than willing to give everyone a chance.
‘If you know him, you’ll know that he loves what he does. Anything you ask him to do, he’ll do it.
‘Todd does all the same tasks as us. He’ll get the tools ready to be loaded onto the van, and he’ll bring all the fittings out from the van at each site.
‘He does a lot. So far, there hasn’t been any limits to what he can help with.
‘He’ll do whatever we ask of him and he gets on really well with the other guys – and he’ll also have a dance as soon as we put the radio on in the background while we work.’ 
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group


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