Welcome to the third edition of the Forwards newsletter.
Forwards Team and Richard Graham MP
On 25th January Forwards hosted an event with Richard Graham MP for Gloucester promoting DWP’s Disability Confident campaign, which encourages employers to open up opportunities for disabled people and people with health conditions.
Hosted by Cllr Roger Wilson the event showcased video CV’s of four people who are working with Forwards to find work and the film highlighted their individual talents and what they could bring to a business.
We also heard from Julie Stephens who is blind. Julie was made redundant from Lloyds bank and she contacted Forwards to help her find a new role. Julie now works for NHS and said this about her experience.
Ben Walters who has autism told a powerful story about how at 11 years old his parents were told that he would not have a future which involved working. Ben now works for Forwards and is helping other disabled people find work.
This was followed by a passionate account by Graham Allen, Lead Custodian at GCC who told of his experiences working with people with learning disabilities taking part in the Traineeship Programme offered by GIS Healthcare, which led to the employment of Luke Martin who is now a permanent employee at GCC.
Other presentations included support for employers offered through the wealth of employment programmes available in the County including GCC led programmes such as Forwards, AIM Supported Internships,The Gloucestershire GEM Project and DWP’s Access to Work Scheme which offers a range of practical support for both individuals and employers.
Finally Richard Graham MP led a call to action giving examples of how he has personally experienced the benefits of employing disabled people in his workforce and asking those employers present to sign up to the campaign.
The event was streamed live and if you would like to see what happened you can watch it here
Forwards would like to thank Richard Graham MP, the presenters and external organisations who kindly gave up their time in order to support the event.
You can find out more information about Disability Confident here
Arts & Crafts - Jen Melton
In November I started working with my GEM Navigator/Developer where we discussed my passion for arts and crafts and how we could adapt this hobby into paid work. This has resulted in me taking steps to start my own small business.
One avenue I am exploring is uploading my artwork onto Redbubble, a website that lets people purchase items such as t-shirts, notebooks and stickers with the uploaded designs printed on them. I am also looking into creating a Facebook page or website where I can sell and promote these items. One of the goals I am working towards this year is to have a market stall over the Christmas season.
As well as this I have been on a confidence building course, started volunteering with Art Shape and now looking to start a small business course. All of which will help me develop the skills I need in my new venture.
New Work Club Programme starting April 2019
Click HERE to download the Work Club poster.
Cineworld - Simon Scott
Simon has a learning disability and has volunteered for many years, it has always been his goal to gain a paid job. Simon and his Job Broker formulated a forward thinking plan to progress into paid work.
Through employer engagement a work experience placement at Cineworld was created. Simon was very excited about this opportunity, met with the manager and Simon knew Cineworld was the kind of work he wanted.
Before Simon started his placement he met with his Job Coach and his line manager to discuss the work, hours, areas of support and duration of the placement. He was then supported by the Job Coach to learn the role and complete the training using the ATW claim for in work support. Simon's Job Coach showed Simon how to complete tasks using Systematic Instruction, this method of learning is used by all Job Coaches.
Simon’s was able to prove his passion and enthusiasm for the role and he has become a well respected member of the team and has now been offered paid employment. Simon will continue to receive support in specific areas of his role from the Job Coach. Simon has now completed all training and is working without his Job coach.
"He always has a smile for our customers and his colleagues, it really is a pleasure to work with him"'
Meet our Cheltenham Job Broker
I am the new Job Broker for Cheltenham and Cotswold's and I will be supporting our customers with job searches with the aim of finding sustainable employment, hosting the Work Club & Outreach services as well as engaging with employers to broaden our reach. For many years I worked as a Music Mentor and Manager of Studio 340, in partnership with CCP and The Music Works. We supported vulnerable people of all ages, using music as a tool to open communication and social skills. When I was very young I dreamed of becoming a paleontologist as I was obsessed with dinosaurs (and still am a little bit) but I then found a guitar and ended up falling in love with music.
Cheltenham Forwards Work Club is relocating to site on 7th March
School House Café
Cheltenham Work Club is relocated to St Paul's Rd, Cheltenham on 7th March 2019. The club is open on Thursday (weekly) from 2pm to 4:30pm at School House Café and they can be found at School House Café, St Paul's Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4EZ
Forwards Work Club can be found in other location, please click this link.
Forwards is developing knowledge about the communities and the partnerships within those communities offering people with disabilities the opportunity for 1:1 support.
Do you need advice or support with employment activities?
The Friendship Cafe Chequers Bridge Centre, Painswick Rd Gloucester
Every Wednesday Time: 10:00-12:30
Hester's Way Neighbourhood Project Community Resource Centre
All Pulling Together (APT)
1 Park Parade
Please do not reply to this email as it will go to a mail box that is not monitored. If you wish to get in touch with the Forwards Employment Team please see our contact us page.