Search

Enterprising manager retires

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:31 01 August 2010

FAMED for its brightly coloured handmade doorstops, signs and pictures, Waveney Enterprises prides itself on the talents of adults with learning disabilities who make each lovingly designed piece.

FAMED for its brightly coloured handmade doorstops, signs and pictures, Waveney Enterprises prides itself on the talents of adults with learning disabilities who make each lovingly designed piece.

But as the popular day centre rolls into its 25th year, it also signals the retirement of the man who has transformed the company from its humble beginnings to the bustling business it's now known as.

Manager Bron Parker left on Wednesday after being at the helm for 24 years, but he goes with a heavy heart.

“I should have retired a year ago at 65, but I decided to stay on one more year and if I don't go now I will keep staying on.

“It's going to be a wrench and I have got mixed feelings really, I'm going to miss it.

“What has happened in 24 years is amazing, it's come on leaps and bounds. The new manager will now take it onto its next phase.”

Waveney Enterprises was set up in 1985 by Father Paul Olanczuk, who used to run St Michael's Lodge, a residential home for adults with learning disabilities.

The aim was that people from the lodge should be able to attend a workshop to help them gain new skills.

It later moved to premises in Manor House Lane and in 1991 the Beccles Townlands Charity bought the present Smallgate building and transformed it from a shoemaker's house.

Bron's background is in graphic design and music, but he has also been a shop manager.

When he started eight people attended and now 18 people are on the books, with anything up to 14 in on any one day.

“It was a completely new project and I didn't know which way it was going to go. Over the years the quality of everything has become way more professional, it's superb.

“At the end of the day I've had to be really multi-faceted. I'm a manager, I help customers who want to buy things and I provide a semi counselling service for the users, but it wouldn't be anything without the people who attend, they make it.”

During his retirement Bron intends to concentrate on writing his autobiography and develop his idea of a children's book.

“Everyone who comes here says how warm the atmosphere is and I'd really like to thank the people of Beccles for their support, because they've been brilliant,” he said.

A party to celebrate the anniversary and Bron's retirement was held at the Kings Head Hotel on Wednesday evening

Bron's predecessor is David Silk, who currently works at St Matthews Housing in Great Yarmouth.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists