In March 2019, the charity United Response was awarded a large grant of just under £30,000 for their new project ‘Pathways to Employment’.
United Response is a UK charity who support adults and young people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs or physical disabilities.
Trafford Housing Trust’s Social Investment Fund awarded the charity £27,189 to provide a supported employment service for people in Trafford who have an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), whose needs are not currently being met by other organisations.
This gap in employment support had been identified for people who do not meet the usual criteria for Health and Social Care Services, including those with Autism. United Response’s project was developed to meet this need by providing one-to-one employment support to adults with autism who are not engaging with other organisations due to the complexities of their support requirements.
The new job coach at United Response supports these individuals to develop self-confidence and employability skills and help them to find volunteer placements, work experience and ultimately paid employment.
One recent example of their success is shown through the support given to Rachel*. Rachel was previously bullied in her last job as a cleaner which led to a lack of confidence, self-esteem and a decline in her health, resulting in her leaving the job feeling unwanted and unable to speak to her peers. Since meeting and working with her job coach at United Response, Rachel has been able to rebuild her confidence and has recently begun a placement volunteering at her local charity shop which is allowing her to develop personally in a working environment. Rachel can now see that paid employment is not unachievable for her but knows that she needs time to build herself up before she jumps into it. Rachel has also benefitted from United Response’s travel training as she had shared her anxieties of traveling further afield to unknown locations.
I am enjoying the work experience and it feels good that I have my own money.
I am delighted to be able to work, it’s good to know my Job Coach is there if I need her.
As well as supporting the individual, United Response’s work also benefits the families and carers of the people they work with, through increasing financial input into the household and giving respite for families.
This funding will also help United Response as an organisation to build and develop a model of support that best fits people with autism without a learning disability.
To speak to someone about gaining support or employing someone with autism please get in touch;
Ask to speak to either Shirley Faulkner or Laura Stott on 0161 873 7479 or email Shirley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Names have been changed for anonymity