Stay up to date with the latest news from the Aldingbourne Trust
WorkAid at Aldingbourne Trust run a service to match adults with learning disabilities and/or autism with suitable work placements. By getting to know our clients, we find out what they are passionate about and focus on the abilities of the individual, looking for suitable employment opportunities within the local community.
We are really pleased to announce that we have assisted 45 people into fabulous new jobs, and 5 people into training, since April 1st.. Bearing in mind the lock down we think this is great news and something to celebrate. They have got jobs in the care, retail, office and warehouse sectors.
We completed some online applications, but with little success, until Sarah suggested care work. I applied and got an interview. We went through possible questions before I went, and was successful! Sarah has continued to support me, as there has been a lot to learn, but now I am feeling more confident and am glad to be back at work.”
We are very aware of the need for good health and safety practices for our clients, their employers and our staff. If you are interested in receiving our support, or know of someone else who may, please rest assured that risks are assessed, and appropriate support is given. More information on what we can do and eligibility criteria are contained in the flyer attached.
We can talk to you over the phone, or meet virtually by using Whats App, Skype, Zoom or any other app you may like to use. We can also meet in the open air in a socially distanced way if that is better for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.
WorkAid 01243 546035 / email@example.com
Workability 01903 730044 / firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you,
From all of us at Impact Workability and WorkAid, delivering Supported Employment West Sussex (SEWS).
Powerful Trainers are adults with learning disabilities and/ or autism who are trained, supported and paid by the Aldingbourne Trust. Our Powerful Trainers make a difference by delivering workshops to a variety of audiences, on attitudes and approaches towards people with learning disabilities and/ or autism by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
Recently our powerful trainers ran a workshop event for the University of Surrey Psychology Doctoral Students via Zoom. Isabel, our training advisor/ powerful trainer and Nicola, one of the people we support/ powerful trainer both ran this event and the feedback they received was overwhelming and exactly why we provide these training sessions.
"I thought the teaching from Powerful Trainers was really inspiring. Nicola and Isabel worked really well as a team and presented with so much confidence and passion. There was plenty of opportunity for engagement/interaction, which suits my personal learning style. I particularly loved the experiential exercises which I thought came at exactly the right point in the session and were extremely thought provoking - I will certainly remember these.
It was so meaningful to hear from Nicola's point of view about her own experiences and perspectives of living and thriving in life with her learning disability. It sounds like Aldingbourne Trust is a wonderful provision which offers person centred support and care, I'd love to go and visit in the future."
"Nicola and Isabel's teaching was powerful and meaningful. Thank you for organising and running such an interesting and thought-provoking session. I haven't worked with anyone with a learning disability before and found it a very useful and inspiring introduction to the field."
If you'd like to find out more information about our powerful trainers or if you are interested in a workshop then please contact IsabelK@aldingbourne.org
The Aldingbourne Trust is inviting the community to take part in ‘MiniBOOM in Lockdown’ an online festival fundraiser in aid of the Aldingbourne Trust. This event will be streamed through the Aldingbourne Trust’s Facebook page on Saturday 27th June, 11am - 11pm. Live music will be performed by fantastic local musicians such as Sarah Wood, Dawn Gracie, Savannah plus much more, along with big quizzes, dancing with Diddi Dance and competitions with great prizes to be won throughout the day - it really is a ‘Great Day In’ for the family.
The Aldingbourne Trust is a local Charity that supports people with learning disabilities and / or autism to reach their potential across Sussex & Hampshire. They provide real skills, care and jobs in a very 21st century way. They believe in strong partnerships between social enterprise and charity fundraising to give adults with learning disabilities real choices and more independent lives.
Jen Sears, Event Manager said, “As you are aware the Covid19 lock down has presented changes and challenges in all our lives and has hit the care sector very hard. Almost all our staff are key workers and are on the front line of this battle against Covid19. It is of high importance that we ensure all the people we support and our staff are kept safe and their support needs are kept in place during these very difficult times. It has become clear that we have been disregarded by the government with shortages of PPE and greatly needed funds.”
“Whilst the Aldingbourne Trust has had to temporarily close to the public our important work must continue. Without our enterprises, our income is more limited, yet our work supporting people with disabilities must carry on. Please continue to support us during this period with our fun ‘MiniBOOM in Lockdown’ event.” - Abigail Rowe, Fundraising Manager
So tune in on Saturday 27th June, 11am - 11pm for a ‘Great Day In’ with the Aldingbourne Trust.
Facebook page - Aldingbourne Trust
To find out more information or make a donation please visit www.aldingbournetrust.org/miniboom
Hear all about how Caroline, one of our staff members, has gone above and beyond for Shannon, one of the people we support.
You really have provided #Gr8Support - Thank You Caroline.
Broadcasted on Radio 4, BBC Sound.
The world is upside down right now. Everything is cancelled or postponed, nearly everything is shut, there’s this eerie at-mosphere and queues and tape all over the supermarket. Oh and there’s a lack of pasta on the shelves.
Routines are generally out of whack. I’ve kinda been given barely any notice from work about coming back in and that worries me. Basically neurotypical people are experiencing just what autistic life is like. Suddenly behaviours which were weird are now considered necessary!
It’s ok to not be ok.
So you can’t keep to your routine, see the people you’re close to and worst of all the things you were looking forward to have been postponed. A lot of people are not ok right now and it’s ok to feel like that. It’s ok get frustrated at people for not giving you alone time, to be annoyed that you’re unable to stick to food routines, to feel disappointed having to wait to watch football again and to miss your routines.
Ok everything is upside down what now?
I've barely seen any advice about this situation for people on the spectrum. While these things haven't 100% worked with me they have kind of helped at least. Maybe they help you.
1. Keep a routine
Anything you can put into routine is a bit of a help. Set aside time for certain things each day or week.
2. Remember to get dressed
Staying at home doesn’t mean slacking on hygiene. Shower-ing and washing your hair helps. Getting dressed and putting yourself together sets you in a different mindset.
3. Keep connected
Try and set up group chats (voice or text) and check in on people. You could play games or maybe a group watch of something.
4. Positive news
It is difficult to shut everything off about the big C because often we like to be as informed as possible but there’s posi-tive news feeds that are good. The Happy Broadcast often has a section of positive stories.
5. You can spend time outside
If you keep to social distancing regulations and don’t cause a ruckus it’s fine to take a walk, run or bike ride.
6. Keep a private journal
Sometimes it helps to write your feelings down. Use a book, notes app on your phone or a journaling app. I sometimes add pictures and drawings as well.
7. Plan for the future
I have a list of simple things like going to McDonalds, seeing friends, going to the shop and buying something special or planning a holiday.
Everything is uncertain but the main thing is when will this be over? As we find out more about the big C experts can give a more realistic idea of a timeline even if we have to make changes to our lives.
9. Make someone smile
Share something you think is pretty good by whatever means necessary.
RH - (Team Springwell) Powerful Trainer
Aldingbourne WorkAid and Impact Workability have joined together in partnership to provide an exciting re-vamped supported employment service. Fulfilling the latest Supported Employment contract from West Sussex County Council, WorkAid will continue supporting individuals with confirmed Learning Disability or Autism Spectrum Conditions, and Workability will continue to support individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries, Physical and Sensory Impairments and those who are carers.
One of the people Aldingbourne WorkAid supports, Brad, has been working as a cleaner in a supermarket in Chichester since February 2020. He has to get up at 4.30 in the morning in order to start his job at 5.30. He cleans the toilets, mops the floor and hoovers the offices upstairs. Brad loves his job . He says ‘it has helped me in different ways, I’ve learned new skills. I have to be flexible because my duties can change suddenly and I can be asked to do something different. I’ve also got used to getting up early but have to be really quiet so as not to wake my housemates”.
Susanna, one of our Employment Consultants, asked Brad to explain how the Corona virus is affecting his work. He says he has continued to work and says the safety of himself and others is the number one priority. “We keep 2 metres apart but this is quite challenging especially now that more people are returning to work”
When Brad returns from work to his house which he shares with 3 others he has his temperature taken. This is to make sure he does not have a high temperature which is one of the indications of Corona virus.
For more information on our eligibility criteria and how to access our supported employment, please contact email@example.com (01243 546035) or firstname.lastname@example.org (01903 730044)
With the uncertainty of the world we are currently living in, it’s hard to imagine what life might look like after Covid-19 has relented. We’re quick to jump to saying “when this is all over” and “when we’re back to normal” but in reality, what is the reality we want to be in when we reach it?
Whether we want it to or not, life won’t be resembling anything like what we experienced before the lockdown. Not just in the big picture of human interaction and economic movement, but in the day to day; will our hearts have been changed because of the inevitable impact on our personal lives?
For some of us, work has been halted, for some of us it means we are working harder than ever before, and there will be many of us in the ‘in between’. The changes to our working lives have impacted every employee and jobseeker in our country; regardless of what letters may be after your name or what industry you are in. It’s also affected us all regardless of our neurodiversity and skill level. Since the pandemic hit the UK, Supported Employment West Sussex (comprising of WorkAid at the Aldingbourne Trust and Workability from Impact Initiatives) have been supporting people with lifelong disabilities and those who are carers to understand and process how the changes have affected them.
WorkAid have supported 185 people with a learning disability and/or autism into paid employment over the past three years (and hundreds more in the past 20 years of the project’s life so far), and respectively have given support and advice to numerous employers to enable them to feel confident about employing talented people who happen to have a learning disability or autism spectrum condition.
Out of the many lessons we have learnt from Covid-19, one of the most striking has been the ability of businesses to adapt to working virtually; using online platforms to hold team meetings from the kitchen table and thinking practically about how we encourage collaboration at work. It’s a bit of a misconception that all people who have an autism spectrum condition hate working in offices; it’s all down to how the individual experiences how their brain works. Some people with autism thrive in offices because they genuinely enjoy working with others and being in busy, noisy environments. However someone else may prefer to work alone because the pressure of unpredictable social interaction is too great; but would really enjoy having scheduled team meetings on a video platform so they still get an element of interaction with their colleagues, but can manage the impact this has on them.
This is just one example of how we could think differently about the expectations of workplaces in the post Covid-19 era. Could we be more flexible in our approach to working from home as a reasonable adjustment; in return you would still get or even retain the talented, committed employee you are searching for, but also they get to overcome a hurdle and gain or keep the job they have been working so hard to achieve?
Of course that example doesn’t fit for all industries and it would be small minded to think that there wouldn’t be challenges, but what if that was the beginning of something beautiful in recruitment?
We have also found that throughout this pandemic, many of our clients who are not shielding are incredibly keen to support their communities and step into front line roles in supermarkets, delivery driving and essential services. Their resilience, determination and enthusiasm has taken us by surprise in some ways, and has reminded us the true value of work isn’t money; its being part of something bigger. A team, a response, a community of people working together.
That sounds a little familiar; what is most likely written on your own job description, or have you typed the same sentence in your own recruitment adverts? “Willing to work as part of a team” “Must be a keen team-player” “You’ll be part of a vibrant and busy team” to name but a few common lines in job adverts. We often find that where people haven’t been given the opportunity to experience team-working, they struggle to ‘stand out’ to recruitment panels; could our recruitment practices actually be limiting team working potential? Having workplace trials and working job interviews can tell you so much more than just what an application form or an interview can tell you on their own. How often has the best person in an interview turned out to not quite hit the mark you were looking for? Working job interviews could give us so much insight into how a person might settle into a role; do they visibly pick up the online systems you’re using, or do they get stuck in to getting to know their potential colleagues and show interest in how the role they are interviewing for fits into the business as a whole.
For someone with a learning disability; having the opportunity to physically try the job role can be a really helpful insight into what the expectations of them are going to be. It can also be a chance to really demonstrate the things they are great at; they might be a skilled food preparer or be checkout operative who oozes natural charm and customer service but you might not get to see that if you just go by a traditional CV. We’re experimenting with video CVs at the moment; so that recruiters can visibly see somebody at work and demonstrating their ability; allowing the person to show their personality so much more vividly than two sides of A4 ever can. As a recruiter, would that style and approach to a CV be of interest?
The effect that Covid-19 is having on businesses throughout the UK is nothing short of devastating; it’s no secret that we are facing tough times ahead and many people are facing the prospect of losing their jobs, which will include those with lifelong disabilities. With low rates of employment in this area of the population, this is set to be another hurdle for people with disabilities to overcome but they aren’t alone. Thousands of people will be competing for jobs; isn’t it only fair that we make our recruitment practices accessible to even out the competition field? One thing is for sure, with the right support any employer can take on any employee who has a lifelong disability, which is where Supported Employment West Sussex can step in. We offer free advice and support to enable businesses take on an employee with a lifelong disability so that everyone involved feels positive, empowered and supported.
So my parting question is this; will you revert back to the ‘norm’ when recruiting post Covid-19, or would you like to be part of a historic moment where the workplace really does champion diversity in our communities?
For more information about how you can support existing staff with lifelong disabilities, or are in a position to welcome new staff into your business and would like to learn more about us, please contact email@example.com (learning disability and autism) or firstname.lastname@example.org (physical disability, sensory impairment and/or acquired brain injury, and those who are carers).
Aldingbourne Trust is as a local award-winning charity supporting adults with learning disabilities and / or autism to reach their full potential and develop skills across Sussex and Hampshire since 1978.
Due to the current circumstances as a result of Covid 19 and following government guidelines we have closed all our enterprises including the Aldingbourne Country Centre to the public and the people we support. We continue to provide daily support for everyone in our Supported Living services all be it in a different way. With the use of technology and social media the Aldingbourne Trust has adapted to a new way of supporting and interacting with people.
Across all of our projects there are many creative and innovative ideas implemented and it is encouraging to see so many people ‘thinking out of the box’ and providing care differently whilst adapting to a new way of living. We have had a great deal of support from our staff and volunteers to ensure the Aldingbourne Trust continues to support people.
Dan Donavan, one of the people we support at MAKE in Portsmouth, has completed his food hygiene training online with a little help from Sarah Mitas, Manager at Make. Regular activity packs with educational activities are being delivered to peoples doors ensuring the learning and support continues.
One of the closed Facebook groups that we have created is called ‘ACC Live TV with Jen & Em’ this is presented by Jen Sears and Emily Field, staff members at Aldingbourne Trust. This group was created to stay connected and engage with the people we support, staff and volunteers for their wellbeing. Every day we spread happiness & cheer through live videos, quizzes, daily activities and we have even had professional singers perform weekly.
One of these singers is Sarah Wood from Funky Junction, a local fun-soul-disco band. Sarah has delivered exciting and professional performances weekly that has everyone dancing in their front rooms. Sarah told us‘I have absolutely loved performing every week! More importantly I've loved becoming part of an amazing Aldingbourne family. Singing has been my passion ever since I can remember, and to be able to share that and bring joy into people's lives – or at least their living rooms - is an incredible experience. Lock down is hard for everyone so finding the silver linings around us is important and Aldingbourne have certainly been my silver lining’.
Another great performer is Dawn Gracie, who has been taking us back in time to the 50’s & 60’s with some fantastic vintage vibes every Monday evening. Dawn “has had an absolute ball” and has even introduced a bubble machine into one of her performances as a prop.
The feedback we have been given from the people we support; staff and volunteers has been overwhelming. This group has really formed an ‘Aldingbourne Family’ says Diana Roba, one of our staff members, and “has helped me and my friends by entertaining us and making us happy” said Sam Knight, one of the people we support.
On behalf on the Aldingbourne Trust we would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff, volunteers, and supporters for truly making a difference and adapting creatively during this difficult time.
A consortium of charities based in West Sussex, Brighton and Hove is advising people of the steps they can take to avoid scammers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Age UK Horsham District, Aldingbourne Trust, Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East), Healthwatch West Sussex, Independent Lives, West Sussex Mind and 4Sight have come together to try and reassure people using their services what to expect and to highlight ways to avoid potential fraudsters.
Reports suggest that there has been an increase in scams since the Coronavirus pandemic began. These include online shopping, where people buy items like hand sanitiser or face masks which never arrive, phishing emails and suspicious callers, offering bogus shopping services or fake Coronavirus tests.
General scam advice includes:
If someone is unable to get assistance from people they know and trust, the consortium advises people use well known organisations or registered charities for support. It’s useful to know that when visiting people or offering ‘doorstep’ services, the charities listed above will always:
Helen Rice, Chief Executive at Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove said “As a group of charities, we’re concerned that scammers might use the Coronavirus as an excuse to target vulnerable people, especially those who are self-isolating and need support at this time. We want people to be aware of online and phone scams as well and to be extra careful about who they open their door to. It’s sickening that while charities like ours are working tirelessly to help people during this difficult time, fraudsters are seeing an opportunity to profit.”
For more information on scammers and fraud, please visit:
To find out about the services being offered by local charities at this time, please visit the following websites:
Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove – www.ageukwestsussex.org.uk
Age UK Horsham District - https://www.ageuk.org.uk/horshamdistrict
Healthwatch West Sussex - www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk
Citizens Advice West Sussex - www.advicewestsussex.org.uk
Aldingbourne Trust - aldingbournetrust.org
Carers Support West Sussex – www.carerssupport.org.uk
West Sussex Mind – https://www.westsussexmind.org
4sight - https://www.4sight.org.uk