From education to employment

#IWantToWork Learning Disability Work Week campaign

#IWantToWork Learning Disability Work Week campaign

Bridge Creative (@BridgeCreative2) have launched their #IWantToWork campaign as part of Learning Disability Work Week to raise awareness and help get adults with learning disabilities into work. The campaign encourages employers to think differently when it comes to employing someone with a learning disability.

Only 10 people with learning disabilities are in paid employment in County Durham, out of a population of over 500,000 people (official figures from the Office for National Statistics) – one of the lowest rates in the country and around ten times lower than the national average! There are far more people with learning disabilities who want to work but the opportunities are far and few between.

Volunteering opportunities provide essential training and enable people to learn new skills and build confidence, but a lot of the time, this never results in a paid job for someone with a learning disability.

Callum Dunnett one of the people Bridge Creative supports said;

‘I’m hard working, polite, I’m a positive person and I have good IT skills and I’m trying to find a job and in Durham, to be honest, there’s not a lot out there.’

This week, two of the people Bridge Creative have been supporting will be starting to train with Inclusion North to become directors of the organisation.

Shaun Ridley said ‘There are people out there who don’t realise that Bridge Creative can help. They’ve helped me so much to open up and helped me through situations that I didn’t realise were so important, and I’d love to be able to help others by becoming a director.’

Bridge Creative who are based in County Durham, have been using innovative ways to support people into work, including supporting a group of adults with learning disabilities to work at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough last year. Founding director Ben Tinkler commented,

‘we believe everyone should have the opportunity to work and reach their potential doing something that they want to do, regardless of their abilities’.

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