People with learning disabilities tell us they want to ‘try new things’ and ‘be part of their community’. That’s why we work alongside local businesses to help people gain new skills and build friendships through volunteering.
For Becky and Lara, both in Brighton and Hove, roles like this mean that they become very much part of their local community and they get to do something they really want to do.
Thanks to Grace Eyre’s Supported Employment project, each week Becky and Lara are able to volunteer at popular meeting places in the heart of their community – the Garden Café and Le Gourmet Deli in Hove.
It’s a two-way street. Becky and Lara get to practice important skills such as customer service, team working, and time management. The businesses benefit from the volunteers’ new ideas, enthusiasm, and hard work.
People with a learning disability are far less likely to have a job than the general population.
In fact, just 6% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work. We think this is unacceptable. That’s why we aim to increase the number of people with learning disabilities in employment. Over the last year we have supported 30 people with learning disabilities on their journey towards work. Volunteering can be an important first step.
Lorenzo Torre, our Supported Employment Project Worker, says:
‘it’s really important to raise awareness about the positive contribution that people with learning disabilities can give to the local workforce. It’s valuable experience for people with learning disabilities because they gain confidence, skills and at the same time it gives them a real feeling of belonging to a team.’
Lara agrees – she has been volunteering at Le Gourmet Deli and says,
‘I love everything about it. It makes me feel good.’
Becky has been volunteering at the Garden Café, and says,
‘Although I felt shy at first, I now feel very confident. It’s busy. I like it like that and get to meet lots of people. I put my apron on and get on with it!’
What could you do? It is estimated that 65% of people with learning disabilities would like a paid job. You can help people with learning disabilities achieve their dreams and wishes by becoming one of Grace Eyre’s Employer Partners. Please get in touch with the Supported Employment Team via mail Lorenzo.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 07934 296356.
Thank you to everyone at Le Gourmet Deli and the Garden Café for their support!