Access Work Service is celebrating a special anniversary for one of its members.

Rhys Geddes-Denning received special recognition on Tuesday for 5 years working as a Crossing Guard. Geddes-Denning said he loves his job and would not be doing anything else. He says he was in the hospital in Pembroke when he heard of the job. At first he was hesitant, but he tried it the first day and loved it ever since. He says he makes the kids happy and the kids make him happy. Geddes-Denning heaped praise on Access Work Service. He says they care for him, and feels blessed.

Access Work Service is coordinated by Jane Smith, and is a service that helps people with barriers find meaningful employment. She said Township saw the value of hiring Rhys and gave him a trial offer in January. When his employment was reviewed in June, Smith said Rhys did wonderful and township has renewed his contract for the last 5 years. In regards to training, Smith said guards have to pass health and safety training and are taught how to react to avoid situations.

Smith said AWS helps around 25-30 people throughout the year. Those they help find work in data entry, yard maintenance and cleaners among others. Smith says they can train any employee under the supervision of a job coach. The service currently works with employers in the Madawaska Valley with a few employers in Bancroft. Smith says they are always looking for new employment opportunities.