Man with Down’s syndrome sacked from £30-a-week job and told to volunteer

A man with Down’s syndrome who was sacked from his £30-a-week role at a leisure centre has been given his job back following public outrage.

Bosses told Ronnie Hawthorn, 47, they couldn’t afford his wages but he could continue working as a volunteer.

He was also invited to attend nights out with staff from Waterfront Leisure Centre in Greenock, Inverclyde.

Management have now down a U-turn and apologised to Mr Hawthorn while giving him his job back, the Daily Record reports.

Inverclyde Leisure chief executive Kieron Vango said: “Ronnie is a respected and well thought of employee at Waterfront Leisure Centre.

“He prides himself on his role and does a great job. We apologise to Ronnie and his parents for the confusion, which came about after the recent decentralisation of our cleaners.

“They are now utilised across all areas… rather than individual areas, to make the best use of our resources and provide the best possible standards for our customers.

“All cleaning staff, including Ronnie, were offered positions but Ronnie was keen to continue working the same shifts and stay on poolside.

“We have worked closely with Ronnie and his parents to find a solution and are delighted that he is going to continue working in a paid role at the Waterfront Leisure Centre.”

Mr Hawthorn was pictured giving a thumbs-up after hearing he was getting his job back.

His dad Ronnie, 69, said: “He loves working alongside his colleagues and being part of the team at poolside.

“Ronnie looks forward to going to work and contributing within the community.

"He also enjoys going to staff nights out and having a ‘pint’ with his colleagues.”

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