We’re helping to rewrite the futures of young people with learning disabilities across North East Lincolnshire as part of DFN Project Search.
Did you know that 95% of people known to adult social care who have learning disabilities or autism end up being unemployed?
That not only deprives them of the things most of take for granted, such as friendships, job satisfaction, independence, and a sense of purpose, but can actually lower their life expectancy by an average of 17 years for women and 14 years for men.
But we’re working to change that. In partnership with Linkage Community Trust and North East Lincolnshire Council, we have offered one year work placements to five young people, who have joined the Estates and Facilities team at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby.
Supported by Linkage’s DFN Project Search Tutor Matt and mentors from within the E&F team, they will be spending the next year working in the Roost, our workshops, and in our kitchens. Each of them will complete three 10-week rotations within different settings.
Director of Estates and Facilities, Jug Johal, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome our Project Search interns to my team. They first joined us just before the Christmas break and, now the new term has started, they are back and raring to go again.
“I’m really pleased that our Trust has been able to offer these young people this opportunity. By working with us, we will be able to give them a taste of working life, vital experience, and life skills.
“While there is no obligation on either side for this to become a permanent role, our aim is to be able to offer all our participants a job at the end of the placement and, continue to offer similar placements to Linkage students for years to come.”
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead, Karl Portz, added: “The scheme will also benefit our staff and, in turn the wider community, as the Linkage teams will be working with us to provide training for you on how to better support those in our care with autism and learning disabilities.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic scheme and I am really excited about the benefits it will provide for everyone involved.”
Suzanne Kavanagh-Mills, Head of Service for Employability at Linkage, said: “One of things we found from speaking with the interns is that they are basing what they want to do specifically on their own previous life experience.
“A lot of them have come from Linkage College, which offers fantastic opportunities to link in with retail, customer services and catering, but they don’t necessarily have experiences in things like engineering, maintenance, or marketing.
“By giving them the opportunity to get into those other areas for just a week, they can make more informed choices.”