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“Having worked almost 18 years with ILG, this is one of the things that I am most proud to be part of.” said Jane Middlemiss, Director of Organisational Development at ILG.
Finding a job can be difficult when you have a learning disability and/or autism, having someone to help you along the journey can build the support you need to achieve employment.
WorkAid at Aldingbourne Trust run a service to match adults with learning disabilities and/or autism with suitable work placements. By getting to know their clients, they find out what they are passionate about and focus on the abilities of the individual, looking for suitable employment opportunities within the local community.
Liz Miles, Employment Consultant at WorkAid, has been working with ILG since 2015. “I approached them with one of my clients, with a speculative letter, asking if they had any vacancies at their warehouse in Burgess Hill. I was very fortunate to meet with Jane Middlemiss, who met with my client and gave him the opportunity of a work trial. From there Work Aid an ILG have been working together and they made us their charity of the year for 2016, helping raise funds for Work Aid.”
ILG now have 16 employed staff who have come through the programme, which is approximately 5% of ILG’s workforce.
“For me, working with Aldingbourne Trust to recruit staff through the WorkAid programme just makes sound business sense. It enables us to source reliable employees, it increases productivity and it improves the engagement of the whole workforce, who are proud to work for an organisation that supports the employment of adults with a disability.” Said Jane.
Liz supports ILG during the whole recruitment process, starting with job coaching, with regular reviews to make sure that everything is working well for all concerned and any extra support is always available from Liz and the WorkAid team.
Jane has been fortunate to work with Liz Miles for a number of years now, placing clients in roles in ILG, and after almost 18 years of working with ILG, this is one of the things she is most proud to be part of. Jane is currently responsible for four cleaners at the main office in East Grinstead who joined ILG through the WorkAid programme. They have proven to be hard working, always arriving on time and very polite and eager to learn. It has been very rewarding for Jane and her colleagues to see what a difference having a job means to them, and they have watched their confidence grow.
When they first started, one of the cleaners would just come in, say hello, not make eye contact and get on with his job. Fast forward 18 months and he now chats to all the team, which has shown what an amazing sense of humour this young man has. “This means a great deal to me as an individual, to think that just 6 hours a week, cleaning the work tops and tables in the canteen, loading and unloading the dishwasher and filling up the tea and coffee pots, could make such a positive change to an individual.” Said Jane.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending anyone to get involved with such a worthwhile and life change scheme, not only does it changes these young peoples’ lives for the better , it is a fantastic feeling going home from work knowing that you have been part of such a wonderful and positive thing.”
“Ryan joined ILG through the WorkAid Programme just over two years ago as a caretaker in the warehouse. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, no matter what task you give to Ryan he does it, no fuss and no moaning, with a very can do attitude. He never leaves a task half done, always following thorough right to the end. He often comes to see me to ask how I am and always seem to be interested in others. Very proactive at seeing what tasks need to be done and needs very little guidance, but if he has questions, he will ask. A real asset to my warehouse.” Steve Ettridge, Warehouse Manager.
Liz has seen dramatic changes in her clients, they have grown in confidence, made friends and some have completed warehousing apprenticeships. ILG have truly turned these individuals lives around, given them self-worth and most importantly a safe/supportive environment to work in.
“ILG are, in my opinion, by far the most understanding, supportive and forward thinking company. I am truly grateful to work with them. Words cannot ever express my gratitude to the whole staff team at ILG, for embracing Work Aid clients, making them part of an ever expanding company, and valuing them. I can only hope that sometime in the near future, we can find another company, with the same values and commitment to adults with learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorder.” Liz Miles, WorkAid.
If you have employment opportunities at your business for people with learning disabilities and/or autism like Ryan, please contact our WorkAid team on 01243 546035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or please visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org/supported-employment, and to find our more about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
It's fair to say that John Buck is an enthusiastic and industrious worker. Indeed, so eager is the 51-year-old toiler that if asked to dig a hole he might well endeavour to reach Australia!
That's the view of Anthony Hughes, who is John’s employment consultant at WorkAid, an award-winning scheme which aims to match adults with learning disabilities or autism with suitable work placements.
WorkAid is an arm of The Aldingbourne Trust, Chichester, near Fontwell, and the organisation has had reason to celebrate this week thanks to the progress that John -- who is just one of the people they support -- has made.
John works as a trolley attendant at Tesco but has worked in a number of different areas in the past. And describing John’s work ethic, Anthony said: “John is a great character. He is a very enthusiastic worker and would attempt to dig to Australia if you asked!”
John gained full-time employment at a local garden nursery after gaining experience at the Acorn horticultural unit. When the garden centre closed down, he looked for more employment and gained further experience through a range of other jobs.
John worked as a warehouse and office cleaner and as a grape picker at a local vineyard. John has now been happily working at his local Tesco Extra at Broadbridge Heath for three months and is considered a valuable member of the team.
He has at times been offered overtime and has now been offered a permanent contract.
If you have employment opportunities at your business for people with learning disabilities and/or autism like John, please contact our WorkAid team on 01243 546035 or email@example.com.
Or please visit www.aldingbournetrust.org/supported-employment, and to find out more about our award-winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
At the Aldingbourne Trust, we run our free award winning Work Aid service funded by West Sussex County Council. Work Aid aims to match adults with learning disabilities and / or autism with suitable work placements, to support employment opportunities, challenge long-standing stereotypes about disability, and refocus attention on the abilities of the individual.
The people we support work through a tailored programme to prepare them for the world of work including skills training, assistance with job applications and supported inductions with employers.
The Work Aid programme empowers individuals by raising their self-confidence, independence and self-esteem while challenging perceptions of disability in the workplace.
Learning Disability Week takes place in May each year. As part of this awareness week, we would like to tell you about Luke, who is one of the Trust’s Work Aid clients.
Luke was referred to the Work Aid for support, as he has autism and has also suffered from anxiety and depression. He was living alone, unemployed, and had little contact with his family.
We provided an employment consultant to support Luke, to get to know him and build his trust, to enable us to understand his needs and what would make him happy. As a result we found out about his great love of aircraft.
The Work Aid team successfully made contact with a company based at Gatwick Airport who are responsible for aircraft cleaning. By helping Luke throughout the application process, and supporting him during his interview, Luke was offered a job and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Luke now describes his autism as his ‘Super power’, as he was able to achieve his lifetime ambition when the ground crew servicing a Boeing 777 jet offered him the chance to get a close up view of the engine.
As a result of his employment, Luke has increased his social circle through becoming a well respected member of staff at work. He has also grown in confidence and now has more contact with his family.