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Aldingbourne Trust awarded grant from government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund to tackle loneliness in the local community
Aldingbourne Trust was today announced as one of the recipients of the first round of funding of the government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund, which has been designed to tackle loneliness in local communities and ensure support was directed to where it was most immediately needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Aldingbourne Trust which supports adults with learning disabilities live independent lives joins over 840 other charities, community groups and small grassroots organisations across England to have received a grant to help people feel more connected within their communities. Grants ranged from £300 to £2,500 and were awarded to organisations with an annual income of less than £50,000.
Aldingbourne Trust received a grant of £1700 to purchase computers to help people with LD could be connected, active and learning during lockdown with the support of our TechMate and so Staff and volunteers could receive online training so that remote support and communication could take place with the people we support.
The Local Connections Fund is made up of £2 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. The second round of funding for the Local Connections Fund will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and applications for this will launch in the summer of 2021.
This week also marks one year since DCMS relaunched its long-running campaign, Let’s Talk Loneliness, to remind people that there is no shame in asking for help. To mark this milestone, the Loneliness Minister has released Emerging Together: the Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan, to recognise that tackling loneliness will remain a national priority for the Government.
The action plan has set out key themes and actions decided by the Tackling Loneliness Network, which includes over 70 organisations. Members of the network have committed to self-funded actions which will help local communities tackle loneliness, including:
● WhatsApp will develop a chatbot messaging service that will offer anyone impacted by loneliness a simple and secure way to find information and support services.
● JCDecaux has committed to look at how relevant content to help signpost young people to loneliness support and services could be included on their network of free, fast wifi spots on high streets across the UK.
● The Association of Convenience Stores will produce a guide for its members on wellbeing and tackling loneliness
Since the beginning of the pandemic, over £31.5 million of the £750 million charity funding package has gone directly towards reducing loneliness, and a further £45 million to organisations supporting people with their mental health. In total, over 13,000 charities have benefited.
Project spokesperson’s name, from name of organisation, said:
Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, said:
“Over the past year I have been truly inspired by the impact that small community organisations can have on people’s lives in our towns and villages, so I’m delighted that the Local Connections Fund will give people an opportunity to go out and do things that they enjoy.
“I’m proud to have worked alongside the organisations in the Tackling Loneliness Network to produce our action plan, and I am confident that the commitments we’ve made will be a positive step towards ending the loneliness that has blighted so many lives in the past year.”
Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said:
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve continually seen the impact that grassroots groups and charities are having on their local communities. The grants made through the Local Connections Fund have empowered small organisations across England to make a huge difference – supporting individuals to build connections, reducing feelings of isolation and helping communities to thrive.
“We are proud to have distributed this funding on behalf of DCMS, and now look ahead to the summer when a further £2million of National Lottery funding will be made available – through the Local Connections Fund - to help charities and community groups address loneliness and create social connections in their local areas.”
At RAS, we believe that successful talent management starts with the right recruitment and selection.
We recently received a letter from the Aldingbourne Trust in relation to the recruitment experience of one of our newest colleagues and their appreciation of one of our Recruitment Advisors…
“My name is Debbie Mott, I work for the Aldingbourne Trust, in the WorkAid team, our head office is based at our Country Centre site in Fontwell, near Chichester, West Sussex.
I work with a team of employment consultants who are based throughout various locations in West Sussex. We specifically work with adults who are anywhere on the spectrum of learning disabilities and autism. In my work I offer holistic and personalised support to adults looking to gain fulfilling and sustainable paid employment.
Our client’s come from a variety of employment backgrounds, from those who may be looking for their first paid job right through to those finding the next steps in their careers, but they are all very keen and determined to succeed in all they set out to achieve; they are just looking for the chance to fulfil their career goals and aspirations.
K came to Work Aid in early 2020 after finishing his full-time education in a catering training establishment after which K had been looking for work for several months. K used our support to access a volunteer opportunity within a local charity shop where he was able to build on his existing transferable skills as well as gaining many new skills, including raising his own confidence within a workplace.
Determined to keep looking for appropriate paid work and seeing how COVID-19 was having a large impact of the hospitality industry, he set out to look for new opportunities.
Together we came across a position advertised by Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) who were for retail stocktakers.
K applied for the job and submitted his CV. He was very open and honest about his lifelong disability, which K has always been keen to do.
K heard back early on in his application to say that he had been successful so far and was offered an online interview with Simone White-Yule. He was nervous, though keen to make a good impression. A couple of days later the online interview took place, and I supported K to make a request around reasonable adjustments, which prompted Simone to call following the interview.
In this call I learned that Simone understood autism and with this was therefore able to appreciate some of the assets that people with autism can bring to a workplace, qualities that many organisations consider valuable, such as high levels of enthusiasm, areas of expertise, reliability with added attention to detail and a sought-after ability to work in a consistent environment. Simone was able to set aside the standard expectations placed upon an application, such as one having an extensive working history. We openly discussed possible concerns, about how K would cope in some situations such as with his understanding of routine and assignment commitments, and together we were able to talk these through and find solutions.
Simone was keen to see if she could advocate on K’s behalf to consider offering him the role. With her tenacity, understanding and the desire to also see K succeed, she was able to be the key link to K securing employment.
K was soon offered a job start! K himself was ecstatic as he had also appreciated how Simone had presented him with the honesty and integrity his application deserved. Simone had not just managed to secure K paid employment, but had renewed K’s faith in the process of application where a disability is disclosed. A true acknowledgement that when reasonable adjustments are put into place at the very start of the application process, how a pool of talent can be accessed without unnecessary assumption, stereotyping, bias, and discrimination.
Many people with a disability will suspect being honest and open about disability can disadvantage them in applying for jobs, and because of this, many often choose not to disclose their disability.
Three in five UK employees have experienced disability bias (hrmagazine.co.uk) and there still appears still to be many myths surrounding disability in that it may cost employers additional monies and that a disability means ill health, especially where the disability is often ‘unseen’.
Throughout K’s application RAS demonstrated that they clearly have diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement strategies at the forefront of their work with practice policies that are set out to remove any unfair discrimination. Simone certainly approached K’s application in a way which has contributed to an open and inclusive workplace culture, especially when making reasonable adjustments in the selection process.
RAS are championing positive action to address a current under-representation among disabled people in the workforce, and in doing so are building a culture where every candidate is valued and it is true that a corporate image and reputation can be enhanced when working in an inclusive way.
Keep up the wonderful work RAS! we certainly look forward to working with you again in the future!
Adopt a Station at the Aldingbourne Trust has recently been working with Denman Gardens, installing new planters and hanging baskets around their carpark and entrance to the garden centre. They started in the Winter planting some winter bedding and will be installing the planters with new Summer bedding very soon. This has been great for Dan Bagnall, one of the people we support through Adopt a Station, as it has kept Dan and his Support busy and active throughout lockdown maintaining and watering these planters twice a week.
Victoria is a resident within Aldingbourne's Supported Living Service and she has recently been recognised as a "Covid Learning Disability & Autism Leader" by Dimensions-UK.
Victoria works as a Project Assistant with Gig Buddies Brighton (Stay Up late) and was instrumental in keeping peoples spirits up during lockdown. Victoria organised online coffee mornings, 1-1 catch ups, online socials such as dance parties, pub quizzes, art groups and appeared on her own online show - "Victorias One Show." At the recent awards evening held in early December, where Coronation Street actor Liam Bairstow was one of the judges - Victoria said she was honoured that everyone's stories were read out and celebrated. Victoria said, "I don't give up and I like to support other people to keep going even during hard times."
We are super proud of you Victoria and send huge congratulations to you. #covidleaders #dimensionsuk #stayuplate
Read the full story here:
Local charity Aldingbourne Trust are proud to be working in partnership with food rescue charity UKHarvest – the two charities are supporting each other during these difficult times. UKHarvest originally founded by CEO Yvonne Thomson, 3 years ago rescue food from various sources such as farms, supermarkets, catering companies, Ocado, P&O Cruises and more which would otherwise be wasted. A team of dedicated volunteers package up the rescued food into smaller food parcels which are then distributed to over 150 charities between Southampton – Tunbridge Wells – London including local refugees, food banks, homeless charities, school breakfast clubs and domestic abuse centres, ensuring the food reaches the people that need it most.
Food wastage in the UK is a huge problem which charities like UKHarvest are fighting to reduce. Registered charity WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) estimated annual food waste rising within UK households, hospitality & food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors in 2018 at around 9.5 million tonnes, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people (30% being the ‘inedible parts’). This had a value of over £19 billion a year, and can be equated to more than 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Aldingbourne Trust – a local award winning charity supporting people with learning disabilities and / or autism heard about UK Harvest and wanted to do what they could to help. Due to these unprecedented times the Trust have been required to close their facilities at the Aldingbourne Country Centre to the public for a short time, and are focussing their resources to continue to support people to learn and develop their skills within areas such as catering. Charis Lawrence – Deputy Manager in Hospitality and Catering at the Trust said, “This partnership has not only supported UKHarvest by allowing them to use our empty catering facilities to package ambient stock such as rice, noodles, flour and dried fruit; it has really been beneficial for the people we support enabling them to continue learning and developing their skills by packaging up food ready for deliveries to those that need it most.” The food gets delivered in large quantities to the Country Centre kitchens and together UKHarvest and Aldingbourne Trust decant it into smaller food parcels, vacuum pack the products and label each package ready for delivery to local people.
Hannah Wells – one of the people Aldingbourne Trust support said, “I am so pleased to be involved with this project, it has enabled me to complete my Food Hygiene certification Level 1 and it has kept me really busy.” Jason Attenborough said, “ I too have loved being involved in this project, it’s fun, rewarding and it has educated me on how many people are in need of food and it’s given me a sense of purpose.”
Roger Parkes, UKHarvest’s Catering Manager, co-ordinating the partnership, is delighted with the progress and speed of which the food is being packaged, “ I am delighted to be working with Aldingbourne Trust, I have met some fantastic people and it’s such a lovely place to be. The support has been fantastic and we are all working together to distribute food to those in need as quickly as we can.”
UKHarvest are always looking for more organisations to support them so if you feel you could offer support please do get in touch with Liz Woodsell, COO, email@example.com. For more information on Aldingbourne Trust visit www.aldingbournetrust.org
Local award winning charity Aldingbourne Trust win the "Public and Community Award" in the prestigious Sussex Heritage Awards 2020.
The Sussex Heritage awards have been running for 22 years and this year due to Covid19 the award ceremony and winners were announced online with over 70 entries across East, West Sussex, Brighton and Hove.
Lord Egremont - President of Sussex Heritage Trust said, "We received a fantastic number of entries which show how popular the awards are and I think they encourage design and architecture in the local area."
HNW Architects submitted an entry for the Aldingbourne Country Centre's new Quarry building into the category for "Public and Community Award" sponsored by Gatwick Airport. Simon Knight - Chairman of Sussex Heritage Trust announced the winners and quoted the judges' response to the Aldingbourne Country Centre from their visit - "it doesn't look like a social care facility, this brilliantly conceived and executed centre for people with learning disabilities has a robust external appearance combined with a warm and playful interior. This and the high standard of finishes creates an environment where people of all abilities can realise their potential."
Michelle McKinley Bell - Head of Enterprise and Development for Aldingbourne Trust said, " We are very proud and honoured to receive this award and wish to thank Amiri Construction Ltd, Hawkins / Brown, HNW Architects, SMD Construction Consultancy Ltd, Campbell Reith, Ingine Ltd, Forest Heat. Energy and Lizard Landscape Design and Ecology for all their creative input from design to build - it has been a team effort in creating this unique and innovative building which we are already seeing the people we support and many local visitors enjoying."
All winners will receive a handcrafted plaque to display within the building and if you have not already visited please do pop down to see this amazing building when it is safe to do so - which is home to a Changing Places facility, Gift Shop, state of the art conference facilities, cafe and even a spiral indoor slide which is open for all ages.
The Aldingbourne Trust support adults with learning disabilities and / or autism to live independent lives and by visiting our Centre you are making a big difference to people’s lives. www.aldingbournetrust.org
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Workability 01903 730044 / email@example.com
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