So, what to do you? “I’m only a cleaner” – discuss

We’ve all had it, haven’t we? You meet some one for the first time, maybe on holiday or at a friend’s party or get-together, pass the usual pleasantries, and then the question comes about what you do for a living….

Now being British, I suppose there is a tendency for us to put ourselves down a little, be a little self-critical perhaps, which, I guess is where the word “only” comes from in this phrase.

But, HOLD ON A MINUTE, why is it that the job of Cleaner is given such low status in this society of ours? Is the work of “tidying up after others” considered as a necessary evil, a job no-one really wants to do, and, as far as a career is concerned – WELL, a career as a cleaner – whatever next?

But, let’s face it, we all like to be in a clean environment, one where someone has clearly spent lots of time and care making our world a more pleasant place to be…. a nice fresh smell, clean carpets and not a speck of dust in site.

At Jericho Cleaning – one of the Jericho Social Enterprises – we have quite a different attitude to work. We know that work is important for individual fulfilment, for boosting self-esteem, a way out of past difficulties to a brighter future, and, YES, a career to be proud of….

Furthermore, there are people in this world, who have, through no fault of their own, been tricked into doing work for someone for no pay, trapped in a land away from their home, and desperately in need of a change to their circumstances – Yes, I am talking about those people who have suffered the indignity and pain of Modern Slavery.
This is the world of Jericho – the amazing Charity who, for 25 years, have been providing jobs and helping people to overcome past difficulties.

…. a Charity who took the decision to set up a Cleaning Social Enterprise as part of its mission.
…. a Charity who employ and develop people into a trade which is not only essential, but delivers a clean, safe, and pleasant working environment for us all, whether at home, or at work.

So, I ask again, is cleaning a valuable service and job role for society? Does it offer a good career? YES definitely, in fact, to quote Nigel Lawrence, the senior manager in charge of the Jericho Cleaning Enterprise.

“before I felt called to help Jericho develop their cleaning enterprise, I was working in my own cleaning business, this was my career for many years – now, I have the opportunity to give back what I have learnt, to support, help and encourage others”

One of Jericho’s long term and loyal customers, the Socially Aware construction firm, Wates, employ Champ, a loyal member of Jericho’s cleaning team on a long-term contract to clean and make tidy their numerous portacabins at one of their building sites
Wates said, “Champ is like one of the family, he is so kind and thoughtful, and always makes sure our environment is clean and just as it should be – we even invited him to our last Christmas party!”

Wates are also delighted that, by employing Jericho for their cleaning contract, they are able to practically demonstrate their commitment to Social Value, to helping to support people, including Survivors of Modern Slavery.

All of the income from the Jericho Cleaning Enterprise goes straight back into the Charities’ mission – supporting people to become Skilled, Fulfilled and gainfully Employed.

Employment that IS valued and that CAN make a successful long-term career –
Employment provided to those most in need through the efforts of Jericho.
Does that sound like “only a job”? I don’t think so….

Jericho Cleaning is one of Eight Jericho Social Enterprises, offering contract cleaning services to businesses, churches and individuals. For more details, visit www.jericho.org.uk/cleaning or call

Nigel Lawrence on 0121 674 1960

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