The project lead for the Getting a Life project in Norfolk was Helen Goddard. For more information about transition for young people with learning disabilities in Norfolk, please contact Sharon.email@example.com.
|Norfolk Leadership Programme||New Beginnings|
|Stephen’s Story||Lewis's Story|
On 29-30 January 2010, young people and families taking part in the Getting a Life programme in Norfolk met up together with Christine Burke and Jill Davies from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities for a leadership workshop. Although it was snowing, lots of people came along.
Ames, John and Melanie from Speaking Up in Cambridge led exercises to help the young people speak up for themselves.
Ames, John and Melanie helped the young people to think about their dream job.
They used stickers representing lots of different jobs to make a collage of the different jobs. The young people presented their ideas to their families.
Christine talked with the families in another room about what makes a good life. People said that friends, things to do, having money and good health are all part of having a good life.
Families then talked about what stops people having a good life. They looked at this for themselves and for their sons and daughters. They talked about some of the barriers that are about how things work now and are not to do with the young people or their impairment.
Marcia Derbyshire told everyone about Project Search. This is a work experience based programme linked to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Eight young people did work experience in different departments and six young people have found jobs since completing the year-long course. Later this year there will be four different Project Search sites in Norfolk.
James Smith from Norwich is one of the young people who was a student on Project Search and now has a job. He works 16 hours per week at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Although James uses a wheelchair, he now uses public transport and says that going everywhere by taxi is boring. He told the group how having a job has really changed his life for the better.
On the 2nd and 3rd October, the Getting a Life (GAL) programme really got going in Norfolk. Thirteen young people and families met in Norwich and Dereham to find out more about the programme and talk about what they want to do in their lives.
They met Linda Jordan and Nicola Gitsham
(GAL programme managers) who described
the purpose of the programme. They were
also joined by Helen Goddard (GAL lead,
Norfolk) and Christine Burke and Jill
Davies from the Foundation for People
with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) who
spoke about their plans for the young
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On 1st November, Stephen started a permanent paid job as a kitchen assistant at the Vauxhall Centre, a community resource centre in Norwich. He is thrilled to have this opportunity in a job he really loves, and is now working 9am-3pm 5 days a week.
Whilst at college, Stephen undertook work experience at the Vauxhall Centre for 6 months, working 1 day a week. When the job at the Centre was advertised within Norwich City College, the Foundation Centre Manager at the College encouraged Stephen to apply. Following a three-week temporary paid contract at the Centre, during which he received training from a job coach, using Systematic Instruction to help him learn his job, Stephen was appointed on a permanent contract.
Although Stephen finds remembering verbal instructions difficult, he can now undertake all the different tasks required in the Centre, including working the till, giving correct change. With support and encouragement from colleagues, Stephen is doing well in his new job and staff have said that his customer service skills are excellent – he goes out of his way to be helpful and polite to customers.
Mint, a project run by Norwich City College to help young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, provided Stephen’s job coach and will be working with him and his employers to review progress and provide any support Stephen needs to continue doing his job well.
Lewis is 14 and has a Circle of Support to help him think about what is working in his life, what needs to change, and to make plans for the future. His mum has been instrumental in taking action to ensure that they have plenty of time to plan for Lewis’ future, and is also involved locally in supporting other carers.
Lewis (centre) with members of his Circle of Support.
George is part of the Getting a Life project in Norfolk. His dream job is to be a postman. Whilst taking part in the leadership programme, George and his family started to think about the steps to take towards making his dream a reality. The first step will be for George to use his PA to support him in work experience, shadowing someone who distributes the local free paper, with the aim of George getting his own round. Other ideas included visiting a local sorting office, and talking to people that the family knows that work in the postal service.
George with his plan, showing the steps towards getting his dream job as a postman.
website © Getting A Life 2011