Together with our partners at West Lea, we’ve just launched a really exciting project which would provide even more pathways to employment for young people with additional needs. We have set up a workshop where our staff and students are producing items that we are selling in our charity shops and via our online eBay store. We have extended the remit of our charity shops by specialising in upcycled shabby chic furniture and other items such as frames and mirrors which are all unique one off pieces.
Initially, our goal is to provide employability skills which can create pathways to employment but long term the aim is for the business to grow so that it can offer paid employment to the students who are being upskilled. We’re trying to challenge the status quo, at present there is a real gap in this area which means many young people with learning difficulties who can, and should, be working do not get a chance to work with the proportion of this group securing employment being lower than 6%.