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Supported employment and volunteering


Sefton Council is committed to improving the lives of people with mental health needs and learning disabilities. Employment and volunteering opportunities gives people independence and control over their own lives. It also benefits people socially, giving them an opportunity to form relationships with people outside of their normal social circle.

Many local businesses offer supported employment and volunteering opportunities for people with mental health needs and learning disabilities. A list of the current offers available can be found below.

 A person in a wheelchair, pointing at a computer screen.

 

Paid opportunities and internships

Sefton Supported Internship Programme

The Sefton Supported Internship Programme enables young people, aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, to access real employment opportunities. 

Run by Southport College and Hugh Baird College, the programme works with local businesses to place students with suitable employers with the aim of securing paid employment at the end of the programme.

Access to Work funded Job Coaches are in place to support the young person throughout the whole process, ensuring that the programme meets the requirements of the employer and the future employee.

Placements move at an appropriate pace depending upon the needs of the learner, building up to up to 3 days a week at the employer and resulting in the student increasing confidence, ability and experience.

While part of the programme involves the student attending College, the key aim is for the student to develop the experience and skills to demonstrate his/her value in the workplace.

For more information contact Southport College or Hugh Baird College.

The Life Rooms Individual Placement Support (IPS)

The Independent Placement Support is a service run by Imagine Independence and supports people to gain meaningful, paid employment based on their preference, skills and abilities. It links people to the right job by contacting employers in the preferred field and working with them to offer paid employment. 

Once a person is employed, the service will provide ongoing support for both the employer and the employee.

Referrals into the service can be made by a Community Mental Health team or Early Intervention Team.

Imagine Independence - Asperger's support

Imagine Independence provides Individual Placement and Support services across Sefton. Employment specialists work with people on a one-to-one basis to provide employment tailored to the individual. They offer support in creating CVs, help to fill in application forms and provide interview techniques. 

Once in work, the specialists will continue to offer support and guidance to help individuals to remain in employment. 

Referrals into Imagine Independence must be made by clinicians in the Asperger's team.

Career Connect

Sefton Council works with Career Connect to offer a NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) Reduction and Prevention Service. The service offers support with careers information, advice and guidance to young people up to the age of 24 with an Educational Health and Care Programme (EHCP).

The young person will be provided with a careers coach to support their career planning and give individual advice to look at next steps, whether that's in education, employment or training. 

Referrals can be made through Sefton Council or by getting in touch with Career Connect.

 

Volunteering

Green Sefton

Green Sefton offer a number of volunteering opportunities that are suitable for people with learning disabilities. These include roles such as litter picking and community work. People will work alongside Green Sefton staff across the Borough and, with experience, this can lead to paid opportunities within the team.

It is open to all adults aged 18+ and more information is available by contacting the team at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk.

Natural Alternatives

Natural Alternatives is a secure and challenging work environment that provides training, education and work experience for vulnerable adults and young people with learning disabilities. 

The programme currently takes place at Botanic Gardens in Southport.

Volunteers work on a number of projects including nature trails, woodland and nature reserve management, and right of way maintenance. People will be able to construct raised beds and planers as well as small products such as bird and bat boxes.

Natural alternatives is open to anyone aged 18 and over. Anyone interested can find out more through greensefton@sefton.gov.uk.

New Directions

New Directions offers opportunities in a number of voluntary and paid roles. The service is available to Sefton residents who are currently receiving support with their needs. Roles are available to suit a range of skills, including woodworking and sewing, and New Directions will offer employment support and guidance to individuals.

More information can be found on the New Directions website.

Volunteer Centre

Sefton CVS runs a volunteer centre for people living in Sefton. They help connect individuals looking to volunteer with organisations looking for volunteers through their website and with face-to-face meetings. 

More information can be found on the Volunteer Centre website.

 

Further support

A Preparing for Adulthood Guide is available to all schools and is given to year 9 students to help them to prepare for their next steps. Transition Co-ordinators are also available to signpost people to relevant opportunities.

The Department for Work and Pensions can support individuals with learning disabilities with equipment, support, and expenses. These can be accessed through local Job Centres.


Last Updated on Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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