A GARDENING company are offering a production job to a homeless person in order to give them a "fresh start" in employment.

Dandy's Topsoil and Turf, based on Sealand Road, are looking for give someone in the community who is often overlooked a chance to work for the topsoil company, which was established in 1826.

The application process will be open to all but Adam Dandy, who has has been running the family business since 2006, said the business is particularly eager to hire somebody who would benefit greatly for the opportunity, namely those who are "homeless, sofa surfing or even just struggling to keep a roof over their head."

Adam, who also founded Chester based homeless charity Share, said employing a person off the streets "brings down barriers within the team." He said it creates a more diverse team, and offers an opportunity for employees from different backgrounds to understand and empathise with one another's history.

"Society tends to look down on people who are homeless - you wouldn't say someone with a house is 'homed.' It just goes to show we're all just people at the end of the day and they all deserve a chance," Adam explained.

He added: "From experience, employing someone who is or has been homeless is fantastic. We employed a gentleman a few years ago who was homeless. He managed to kick in a really bad addiction to alcohol and I thought, if he's able to get that far, then he deserves more than a chance to get a good job and a house.

"We helped this man put a deposit on a house, and gave him an advance on his wages so he could afford it. That's the most important stepping stone for people in that situation - securing a deposit. We want to keep employing more people off the streets, it's a way for a fresh start.

"That man now works his socks off for us, he's one of the best employees we have. You tend to find people who have been or are homeless have a lot more loyalty because they are grateful to you for taking a chance on them when nobody else would."

During his years of volunteering with Chester Share, Adam observed that those living on the streets who battle with addiction often do so due to boredom. Adam said: "You hear a lot about a lot of people who are homeless who have an addiction, but it's because they have nothing else to do so they fall in the wrong crowds. The saying is true that the devil makes work for idle hands, because when they have a job, they can focus on that and get back on to the straight and narrow."

Adam wishes to highlight the importance of equality, and giving those who are in dire need of a job and income a chance to prove their skills.

For this reason, interviewees are not required to wear a formal suit and tie, provide a "fancy CV" or even prove they have qualifications, GCSE's, or previous experience. Adam said it's all about the energy and persona on the day, "it's really down to the individual."

Daily work will include packaging topsoil, gravel, compost, bark, and sand at the packaging facility on Sealand Road, loading quality products into customers' boots, and general cleaning and maintenance.

Due to an overwhelming amount of applications in only 48 hours, Adam has had to bring the closing date forward to Wednesday, September 12.

He said: "Work is so important to people on the streets. We have been inundated with applications, and it's quite sad that there is only one role going at the moment."

The topsoil company owner however urged other businesses to reach out to the homeless, or those struggling to remain housed, and offered to pass on details of the applicants who weren't successful to these companies.

To apply, call 01244 280008, or email katie@dandystopsoil.co.uk or call in at Yew Tree Farm, Sealand Rd, Chester.