The project leads for the Getting a Life project in North East Lincolnshire were Angie Kershaw and Neil Cartwright.
Wendy Dilks (Jobs4All) was the project manager. For more information about transition to employment for young people with learning disabilities in North East Lincolnshire please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Planning day||Leadership Day|
|Project Launch||Hayley and Sydonie’s stories|
|Development Programme||Person-centred Assessment Training|
|Christina' job||Callum's job|
Christina is 22 and is now happily living in shared accommodation. Christina has been through transition and has her own person centred plan, etc which is reviewed on an as and when basis. Christina uses her financial support package to pay for this and Linkage who supply the service have happily agreed to assist in the travel training ensuring Christina gets to her place of work. Christina is now very happy and confident with her life and is absolutely delighted with her place of work and with undertaking administration duties.
Letter from Christina's family
We were initially sceptical when asked if we would like to be involved, with Christina, in GAL, having experienced ‘government initiatives’ which promised everything and resulted in nothing.
However when we met Wendy Dilks, who heads up GAL and jobs4all, we were encouraged by her enthusiasm and determination to source employment for special needs adults. This encouragement did not waver during the various meetings we had and there were a number of local employers who made presentations at these meetings.
Imagine our excitement when Wendy contacted us and told us that a local employer had a vacancy and was willing to interview Christina to see if she was capable and willing to take up the post. Wendy accompanied us and introduced us to Rosaline the owner of Willow Home Care and Support Services. Rosaline and the staff we met were very welcoming and after talking to Christina and looking at her CV Rosaline offered to employ her as an office worker. Christina was very excited and accepted the offer. She would initially work for 2 hours every Tuesday and these hours would be increased as she “learnt the ropes” and proved capable to do the job. The young lady in reception (Emily) said that she would be delighted to mentor Christina and that she would meet her at the bus stop and escort her across two busy roads to the office. It was also arranged that the staff at the supported living house where Christina lives would accompany her on the bus for a few weeks until Christina was capable of travelling on her own.
Christina started work on Tuesday 2nd August and afterwards Rosaline contacted Wendy and said that they were very pleased with Christina’s work and her happy and pleasing attitude. Imagine how thrilled Christina was to show us her first pay slip and we were very pleased and proud. This has been a great boost to Christina’s confidence – she is proud that she has a job.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Willow Care for employing Christina and especially Wendy Dilks and GAL for her support.
Callum (17) presented at the Sheffield Transition Celebration event recently. Callum's a superstar and high achiever, after being with the Getting a Life program for 12 months he's using his direct payments, going through transition and has job at the local Leisure centre.
The job is supporting disabled people who wish to hire the specially adapted cycles. He will, with the support of his PA, be making sure that the cycles tyres and blown up, taking the money, keeping record of client group. Loading and unloading the cycles and any other maintenance needed.
The manger of the centre kindly offered Callum and his PA a free yearly membership to go to the gym, so that he feels comfortable in his new surroundings and that the staff become comfortable with Callum. Callum started with a Saturday job in the summer and if Calllum continued to do well, the manager would slot him into another part of the Leisure centre once the summer job ended.
Callum was very withdrawn, with behavioural problems, he has ASD, learning disabilities and numerous other disabilities when he joined GAL. Callum also used to wander off from College. As you see he has some major achievements under his belt now and was a superstar in the ‘Getting Heard Training’. There are still some things that need working on and now the family has become involved in the IB pilot, it is going from strength to strength.
Download Callum's presentation at the Sheffield Transition Celebration event
Callum's story and thank you Getting A Life
Callum reached the short list to carry the Olympic torch. I cannot believe how far he as come and what he as achieved since last year.
Last year Callum and we as a family were feeling very lost, alone and fearful' for Callum's future. After going through very stressful procedure of trying to get Callum into a college that best suited his needs and not being successful we did not know were to go for help.
Callum's behaviour became very challenging at home, he was very frustrated with not being able to have the life he wanted. He wanted to go out with friends, go to town, get a job and a girlfriend. None of this was possible without Mum or Dad being with him. It was not only frustrating for Callum but for us as parents, this is not what we wanted for our son.
Callum started at the 16 TO 19's unit at Cromwell road and a very forward wonderful teacher Mr Scott told us about the Getting a Life program. We then met Wendy Dilks who passionately told us about her job and work young people like Callum and helping people reach their potential.
With the help of The Getting A Life Project and direct payments Callum now has a job, he is, with the help of Oliver (personal assistant) able to do the things that interest him. He now has a bus pass amd help with travel training. He talks to people at conferences about his life and achievements.
We can not underestimate what Getting A Life has done for Callum's self esteem and confidance. WE are very proud of him.
We feel we have to mention and thank Eugan and the staff at Cleethorpes leisure centre for having the courage and vision to give Callum this oppurtunity. We know if more employers would look beyond the disability and realise that these young people have so much to offer in the work environment.
We also feel we need to thank staff at 16 to 19's learning, Cromwell House AND children's disability service for there continuing support .
We just wish to finish by saying that you Wendy have given us so much hope for Callums future and your drive and inspiration to help young people like Callum. is credit to you and The Getting A Life Project.
Four young people involved in Getting a Life in North East Lincolnshire took part in a an event on 24 and 25 February, to support them in speaking up for themselves and building confidence – all of which can impact on getting a job and a life.
Hayley Wright, Sid Coates, Callum Swales, and David Nicolson, amongst others, took part in a range of exercises, led by young people with learning disabilities who had previously undertaken the training. The day focused on young people expressing their thoughts and opinions, and building confidence, through teamwork exercises with and without support from the young people’s support team.
Those taking part said that they had enjoyed the event and it had helped them think about what they can do. Many said they thought they would keep in touch with people they had met on the course.
The course, which will be ASDAN accredited, was supported by Transition; Short Breaks, Getting a Life and the Young People Support Services. In future, Getting Heard training will be carried out by North East Lincolnshire Young People Support Services, and will be rolled out to other organisations using a toolkit.
On 6th July 28 people from a range of organisations and agencies involved with supporting young people with learning disabilities in North East Lincolnshire got together to plan the Getting a Life project and what they wanted to achieve locally. They decided that by March 2011 they wanted to see more examples of young people in paid employment.
The group looked at the Getting a Life pathway to employment and analysed which aspects of the pathway are going well or not so well. From this analysis they decided on actions that needed taking.
The report from the day can be downloaded here.
For more information about the Getting a Life project in North East Lincolnshire please contact Wendy Dilks.
Young people involved in the Getting a Life project in North East Lincolnshire will be taking part in a leadership programme, designed to tackle the fact that lots of young people with learning disabilities don't see themselves as people who can work.
The two main parts of the programme are peer mentoring and leadership. Peer mentoring is about helping young people connect to one new person who can help them think about work and about their life in general and about what is possible for the future. A peer mentor can be someone the family already knows, and should live near enough to the family to make meeting up easier.
The leadership element of the programme centres around a Dragon's Den event. This will be held in March or April 2011 and the young people will work together over the next couple of months to plan the event. They will invite local businesses and entrepreneurs and will challenge them to offer at least one opportunity for employment — a work experience at least or a full time paid job at best! The young people will plan how to 'sell their skills' and hopefully the event will be a lot of fun!
As well as the young people’s leadership there will be some sessions for families, to give them the chance to find out more about self-directed support, customised employment or anything that they want to find out about. Tricia Nicoll will plan these sessions with advice from families so they are tailored to what they need.
On 18th January 2011, the Getting a Life project for North East Lincolnshire was officially launched in Cleethorpes. Over 60 delegates attended the event, including young people with learning disabilities, families, carers, local support groups, colleges and schools, the local authority and the Care Trust.
There were a wide variety of presentations including a discussion of the national and local Getting a Life programme from Linda Jordan (national programme manager) and Wendy Dilks (local project co-ordinator), and an overview of transition and person-centred planning from Angie Kershaw, the Aiming High programme manager.
Sean Brown, manager of Jobs4All, talked about the role of the social firm, working in the community and employing people with disabilities. He introduced two young women, Hayley Wright and Sydonie Coates, who talked about their jobs at Jobs4All.
Two parents spoke about the change that the Getting a Life project has already created. They felt that the project has already led to some real local action, and that they had more awareness of what was happening in North East Lincolnshire to support young people. They talked about their son and what a change the project has made to him: he is now looking forward to his work placement at Café 4, (run by Jobs4All) which the supported employment team and Getting a Life project will support.
Local employer Wendy Hawkins, who owns three businesses, spoke about her plans to employ people with learning disabilities, and Mark Fenty, Director of Get Hooked on Positive Activities, spoke about the sporting activities available with adapted equipment for people with learning disabilities.
The event also included a participation session on employer engagement, and attendees were asked to talk to local employers through their networks of friends, colleagues and relatives.
Hayley and Sydonie’s stories
Hayley Wright, 22, got the job at Jobs4All through the Work Step programme and Jobcentre Plus. Before working at Jobs4All, Hayley worked as a volunteer. Since starting paid work, Hayley is much more confident, has a social life, and is able to spend her own money on things she wants rather than asking her family for money. Hayley says that her aspirations are much higher and she and her family would now be much more confident about approaching employers for jobs in the future.
Sydonie, 20, had a yearlong work placement as an administrator for Shoreline Housing but unfortunately this did not lead to a paid job. Sydonie now goes out and socialises more, and said this was thanks to her new job and the support she has had from Jobs4All, the supported employment team and Getting a Life. Sydonie also talked about the benefits of earning a wage: she recently went shopping and spent her own money on an expensive new coat.
Development Programme in North East Lincolnshire
Staff from eighteen organisations in North East Lincolnshire have now attended job coach training as part of the Getting a Life development programme. In addition, the first two days of a four-day person-centred transition review training course have taken place with 20 staff members from a range of different organisations involved in supporting young people with learning disabilities.
Person-centred assessment training is taking place in February with 18 organisations attending and the person-centred approaches for further education will be taking place on 4-5 April and two further days in May.
Person-centred Assessment Training in North East Lincolnshire
The North East Lincolnshire Getting a Life team held a two-day person-centred assessment training course on 3-4 February. Jonathan Ralphs (Helen Sanderson Associates) led the course, which was attended by 16 members of staff from a variety of organisations working with young people with learning disabilities in the area, including schools, colleges, Connexions and the local authority transitions and adult social care/health services.
Feedback from the event was positive, with attendees planning to use what they had learnt in their work with young people and the Getting a Life project. In particular, they identified that they needed to ensure that young people are included fully in meetings and reviews, and to provide good information and support to young people and their families.
The training, which complements the person-centred reviews training already taking place in North East Lincolnshire, is part of the Getting a Life project development programme. Wendy Dilks, project co-ordinator, will be tracking progress and changes that local staff make, to support young people with learning disabilities as they move into adulthood and full lives.
website © Getting A Life 2011