Comic book hero’s award for his work with children

Peter Anderson receives his employee of the year award.
Peter Anderson receives his employee of the year award.

A Newport man has been recognised for his innovative work using comics to engage with children who have additional learning support needs.

Peter Anderson picked up the gold employee of the year award at the Fife Business Diversity Awards.

The awards showcase the achievements of people, organisations and businesses who provide employment for people with disabilities and health issues. Now in its 11th year, the event was hosted by Fife Council’s social work supported employment service.

Peter had been employed in the comic and magazine trade for most of his working life, but he lost his job and his confidence following a degenerative heart condition diagnosis.

After turning to the social work supported employment service for help, Peter realised comics and children were an ideal mix, and he began to canvas schools to use graphics for learning.

He now works at Newport Primary with children who have additional learning support needs, and has successfully engaged them in learning through the use of his comics.

Peter said: “I wouldn’t call this a job; it’s a privilege and a joy, and doing something that really matters has changed my life.”

Fife Provost Jim Leishman paid tribute to all the award winners and the supported employment services which, he said, were instrumental in ensuring people with disabilities and health issues were given the encouragement, guidance and support they needed to find and keep jobs.

He added: “I’d also like to commend Fife’s employers who are providing work placements and paid jobs, breaking down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities and health issues achieving their work goals.”

There were five categories of awards, with bronze, silver and gold winners in each one.