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A Working Life?

A Working Life?

Kavita Bowry, Communications and Development Manager at Share Community on their employability scheme and what Tooting and Wandsworth businesses can do to help their students.

   

Most of us have to work for a living, right? But could it be that all of us take this quite everyday necessity just a little bit for granted? What does it actually mean to you to have a job? Is it in some way a validation of who you are and does it give you self-esteem and confidence – a sense of self-worth and, indeed, independence?

At Share, we support people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health concerns to become more independent. For many, this means gaining independent living skills, but for others it involves gaining valuable employability skills with a view to entering the wider workplace.

There are approximately 905,000 people with learning disabilities in England (source: People with Learning Disabilities in England 2011), and about 1% of the population has an autism spectrum condition (source: NHS Report – Estimating the prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions in adults 2012).
 

Joyce and Geraldine
Joyce serving canapés to patron Geraldine James at an evening in the Share Garden.
 

Significantly, only 6% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work (source: HSCIC 2015) compared with 74% of people aged 16 to 64 in the general population (source: ONS 2016b). But Government figures show that 65% of people with learning disabilities would like to get a job.

Most of our students gain these employability skills by working in our social enterprises – Share Nurseries and Share Catering – which provide real-life practical work experience in a safe and supported environment. Our Job Coaches then work with our students to hone those skills with a view to helping our students to take the next step – working or volunteering in the local community.
 

Share
  Andrew serving a customer at the garden; Roxanne digging in the garden.
 

Therefore, we’d love to hear from anyone who may have work placement or volunteering opportunities, particularly in retail, administration, warehouse and care work. Simple changes – reasonable adjustments to give them their technical term – can help our students flourish and take their rightful place as integral members of the workforce and society in general.

To find out more about our employability work and how you can help, contact our Job Coaches, Claire Smith, via email claires@sharecommunity.org.uk or Jaime Johnson, via email jaimej@sharecommunity.org.uk or telephone 020 7924 2949.


Share Community is a registered charity that provides training and employment support for disabled adults, including those with learning disabilities, autism, physical/sensory impairments and mental health needs. To find out more about Share’s work or how you can get involved, visit our website at www.sharecommunity.org.uk 

 


This article would not be possible without the support of our fantastic Community Partners. Click here to find out more.
 

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