Loughrea company champions people through multicultural workforce and links with Chernobyl

Neylons Facility Management located in Loughrea County Galway which employs over 500 people celebrated their ‘Neylons Academy for Growth’ Graduation at a special event at their HQ on Friday last in Loughrea.

Neylons Academy for Growth Graduation also linked in with Chernobyl Children International (CCI), which the company has been supporting for over 10 years. The Neylons workforce is a cultural melting pot of nationalities and cultures, with their workforce coming from across Ireland, eastern Europe and the Ukraine.

The company, which was founded by Sylvester Neylon in 2004, has become an established national provider of contract facility management services. From Neylons humble beginnings as a cleaning company it has seen impressive growth and it now offers a full range of Facility Management from catering to caring, cleaning to security.

Neylons did not have to look to far to seek out what charity they wanted to support and be involved with. Some staff members had already been involved with the Rest & Recuperation Programme that (CCI) run.

The ‘Neylons Academy for Growth’ was set up in 2014. This academy, which is the only one of its kind in Europe in a business of this size, invests in staff development and promotes people from within the company. The academy ranges from operational elements such as project planning and budgeting, to soft skills such as performance and behavioural management.

Chernobyl Children International’s Adi Roche with Natasha Blake and Sylvester Neylon

In their first year, they took five staff through the Academy. Interest grew amongst the entire staff as they saw the benefits and promotions the pilot programme offered. All participants qualified and became managers for some of the most prestigious facilities in Ireland. In year two they took on 12 staff and now in its fifth year they have 22 participants, and a total of 70 over the years.

Maria Sava, newly appointed CEO, delivers part of the programme which is funded solely by the company. Neylons continue to further enhance the programme and all trainee managers are contributing enormously to the growth and success of the company. Originally 7, there are now 12 modules delivered over a one-year period. All participants travel to Loughrea HQ once a month for their training.

Neylons support a group of children who travel to Loughrea to stay with families twice a year. Because the same children return every year their personal development and general health improves dramatically. There is similarity in the way the Neylons Academy for Growth also works by focusing on individual personal development. Each of Neylons employees voluntarily donate 20 cent of their wages each week. Neylons match the donation allowing this employer and employee initiative to provide the funds to make it all a reality for the Adi Roche-run Foundation.

The initiative does not stop at a financial donation. The children come to visit the sites Neylons run around the country and visit Neylons staff. It is a boost of moral for both the Neylons team and the children.

“The entire experience with CCI has given me a different perspective on day to day living both personally and in business. I can honestly say it is the single proudest day in my Neylons journey when Adi came to the graduation to instil the importance of people development. For everyone who attended the event a human connection was made, it did not matter what culture or background they came from we all saw the importance of investing in people,” explained Sylvester Neylon.

Adi Roche
Adi Roche during her emotive and thought-provoking speech at Neylans

Speaking at the event where she was guest of honour, Adi Roche, Founder of Chernobyl Children International said, “It is an honour to be included in a such a warm and close family business as Neylons. They are a bright-shining beacon of example of corporate social responsibility. These awards reflect Neylon’s values of personal endeavour, co-operation, striving upward and forward but also acknowledgment of responsibility within your own community. These awards recognise the importance of a different ‘set of learning’ other than intense academic achievement….it is an education about the wider world.

I have seen great sadness and despair in Chernobyl, but most of all I have seen great hope, spirit and inspiration by wonderful work being done by ordinary people like Neylons thanks to their fundraising efforts and incredible generosity. Sylvester and the Neylon family have even opened their own hope to give refuge to children of Chernobyl, sharing with these vulnerable children the message of hope.”

Ukranian native and Neylons Academy graduate Olga Spirgulevich explains the program’s importance and how Neylans Academy for Growth has changed her life. “Anca, my mentor, offered me to attend the Academy. When I went to the Academy the first time, I was not sure, I had a lot of fears and insecurities. I remembered what happened in my life before, I thought everyone would laugh and would humiliate me. A few years ago, I left home, I left 3 small children, with hope for the best. But everything was not so good. Working in a mushroom farm, they mocked us even worse. In pursuit of happiness and a better job, nothing changed. I gave up on faith and hope in a good life. A few years later, I accidentally started in Neylons and here I feel that they believe in me, that they trust me. I really want to thank Sylvester, Maria, Sandra, Ciara, who helped me to become another person….they changed my life. The Academy divided my life into two parts, before and after the Academy. I’m sure that I’m not the only one… Thank you very much to everyone who created the Academy. I received not only teachings, work, but also power, faith in myself. I would like more and more people being like you and a lot more academies. I bow before you!!”

For more information or to make a donation visit: www.chernobyl-international.com.

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