Learning Disability Work Week

It was Learning Disability Work Week from 6-12 November. People with learning disabilities have a lot to contribute to society, including being engaged in voluntary work and paid employment.

Approximately 8 out of 10 people with a learning disability who are of working age have a mild or moderate learning disability, but less than 2 in 10 are in paid employment.

With a few reasonable adjustments however, we know that this statistic can increase. With the help, support and understanding of employers and colleagues, people with learning disabilities can be real assets to a workplace.

Currently, several of our clients are doing some fantastic work placements across Nottinghamshire. We have clients in placements at Nottingham Community Transport, the Pelham Kitchen cafe, Green’s Windmill and Arnold Clothes Bank.

One client, Clare, is doing a work placement at Sherwood Playgroup. Her boss there, Louise, says “She is an asset to the Nursery”.

We also have our crafts and upcycling shop, Spacecraft, where clients serve customers and are learning about stock maintenance and handling money.

Our Support Worker, Stella, explains why work placements are so important:

“Working gives our clients responsibility and independence. It teaches soft work skills in a real life situation.  For many of our clients, self-confidence quickly grows through starting a work placement.”

Changing people’s perceptions of what people with learning disabilities can do isn’t a quick process, but it is rewarding. Not everybody with a learning disability will find work suits them, but the current national statistics don’t reflect what great employees our clients can be!

For more Information about Learning Disability Work Week, which has been organised by the charity Mencap, please click on this link.

Bike Club

At Space Inclusive we have loads of great ways to engage our clients, and one at our Workspace site in Sherwood is the bike club.

The premise is really simple, it aims to help our clients learn more about bikes, whether it’s maintaining and repairing them, or riding them. The skills clients gain are numerous, from problem solving and team-work skills to some practical and vocational experience that can be used if clients are taking the next step to paid employment.

Our support worker, Dave Bevan, says “All the clients in the bike club get a huge amount out of it. They are learning new skills and are developing a real interest in bikes”.

Sew far sew good

A group of our clients have been busy working on some fabulous handmade items at the Textile Workshop on Mansfield Road.

Over a six-week course they will learn skills such as sewing, knitting, pattern cutting, dress making, printing, art, felting and embroidery. Many of the items created during the course will, in time, go on sale at our shop, Spacecraft. An example of the work being done is a lovely bouquet of flowers made from pipe cleaners and buttons!

One of our support workers, Kelly, says “The course is a great way for clients to get creative and focus on creating some fabulous items. It’s also a perfect way to help the mindfulness of clients.”

We would especially like to thank Karen Taylor, the tutor taking the group every Thursday morning, for her time and obvious enthusiasm.

Have I got views for you!

There is currently a brilliant chance to have your voice heard.

People with autism need the Government to help them to find and stay in work. Without this, autistic people will continue to be left behind, their abilities overlooked.

We know how much they can contribute to the workplace – some of our employees are former clients and others have found success in sustaining work placements, sometimes succeeding in gaining paid employment!

The Government has launched a consultation to inform their plans for changes to the law about disability and work. The more people who tell them what support is needed for autistic people to get into and stay in work, the better chance we have.

You only have until 17 February 2017 to respond but we advise that you get your comments in as soon as you can.

The National Autistic Society have designed an easy and accessible feedback form on their website. It’s designed for Parents, Carers and Autistic people themselves. If you have just a few minutes to spare please click on this link and make your voice heard!


Fantastic Photos!

A photography tutor from West Nottinghamshire College has been giving some of our clients a chance to use their creative streak and take some top quality photos.

Richard Edwards set a group of eight clients a project to seek out getting beautiful photographs in some of the city’s abandoned urban wasteland.

The group was given four morning sessions over four weeks to find and shoot their scenes and the results of their hard work is now being displayed at a photographic exhibition, entitled ‘Rule The Wasteland’, at Lee Rosey’s tea shop on Broad Street, Nottingham, until mid-November. Richard said: “I’ve been amazed by the students. I just have to put a camera in their hands, for me to be blown away by their enthusiasm and creativity. They all turned what many see as urban decay into positive examples of art. Through photography I saw these students expand their skills and grow in confidence.”

Dave, one of our support workers, said “It was a real pleasure to have Richard come in, put cameras in our hands and let us go! He gave great advice and encouragement without ever dictating what we should or shouldn’t be shooting, which the guys found really fun and liberating. “We’re really pleased and proud with how the show at Lee Rosey’s turned out and it’s exciting to see our work exhibited professionally in a public setting. Massive thanks to Richard, West Notts College and Lee Rosey’s for making this happen.”

A job well done!

Warren and Ryan, two of our clients at Mansfield Street, have been doing a work placement at Nottingham Community Transport, as Support Worker Stella writes…

The lovely people at Nottingham Community Transport approached us offering a couple of work placement opportunities at their Sherwood garage.  Ryan and Warren were ready for the challenge and spend their shifts cleaning buses, attending M.O.T’s and swapping buses from sites in Mansfield and Queens Drive.

Terry Richards, who has been acting as their mentor, is delighted with their enthusiasm, reliability and eagerness to learn; he said “they are both part of the team”.

Warren’s “buzzing” after each shift and feels it’s a great place to “find your feet and learn new skills”.  Ryan says he’s enjoying the independence and uniform!

Our work placement scheme is a great opportunity to empower our clients, give responsibility and encourage the development of soft skills.  If you think you could offer a placement for a couple of hours a week, we would love to hear from you!

Wheelie good fun!

A group of clients from our Workspace Site at Mansfield Street have been doing a bike maintenance course with the charity Ridewise! Lead by Alan Martin and David Bevan, two of our support workers, it’s been a huge success.

The aim of the course isn’t just about mending bikes though – fun as that may be (especially when you can ride them afterwards!), bike to encourage group working skills – important for some of our clients who might be looking for work – and promoting road safety. Finally, it’s a healthy activity to do.

Working with other organisations is always important for us here at Space Inclusive, whether it’s organisations like Ridewise or the Framework Housing Association we can help expand the horizons of our clients, especially those who want to get into employment.

Bike riding is always great fun, and being able to have the know-how to repair them is  great skill to have. And what’s more, they received a certificate at the end of it as proof!

Well done Reece

One of our clients has secured a three month long paid contract at a high street department store!

Reece is a very capable young man and with the help of the Prince’s Trust we managed to find him a four week long work placement at Marks and Spencer.

We are happy to report that Reece was very successful and really impressed his colleagues – so much that he has managed to secure a paid contract working at Marks and Spencer for three months.

David, one of the partners, said:

We are very proud of Reece’s achievement’s at M&S in addition to his impressive developments over the past few months. This is a great opportunity.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

At Space Inclusive we feel that it’s important for our clients to aim high. For some of them, that includes achieving things that they never previously thought was possible. Thanks to Space’s support though, they are. We set up a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group in order to give clients the chance not just to have fun but achieve something at the same time.

For people who may not be aware of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award it was set up by Prince Philip, who went to the Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun. At Gordonstoun there was a policy of just educating pupils, but giving them a great work ethos as well as keeping fit and healthy. The Duke of Edinburgh was so inspired by this that he set the Award Scheme up to the same chances to every young person from all walks of life.

There are three areas which are covered during the Duke of Edinburgh’s award –

  • Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.
  • Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
  • Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
  • Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.

Our clients thoroughly enjoy the challenge of all these areas, and, with our assistance, are working through each task. As part of this a group has taken up playing badminton – this is the Physical activity they are undertaking.

We’ll keep you up to date with the progress of our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group – especially when the receive the award!