Grants we have awarded
We offer grants to charities which provide a service to people with learning disabilities in order to enhance life opportunities. These grants can be awarded for up to 3 years so that organisations can plan ahead with some degree of certainty. Here are some examples showing how these grants are making a difference.
Building Business Enterprises
The Forbes Charitable Foundation is supporting people with learning disabilities to gain life and work skills through our SNAP UP SUCCESS programme. Together we are building five business enterprises in horticulture, cafe and catering, packing and assembly, canvas art and handcrafts. SNAP UP SUCCESS offers opportunities for people with learning disabilities to be involved in every part of production and sales in a safe and supportive environment. For those who are able, SNAP UP SUCCESS will help them enter the world of work or voluntary opportunities in the community.
Lets Work Sustainable Employment
The Tower Project JET Service is an award winning provider of supported employment services for people with learning disabilities in East London.
The grant from the Forbes Charitable Foundation supports JET’s Let’s Work programme which provides a bridge into the world of work for people with learning disabilities aged 25 and over who are statistically furthest from the job market.
Central to the programme is the delivery of six month paid work placements funded by the Forbes Charitable Foundation and brokered by specialist JET Job Coaches who also provide in-work support.
Let’s Work participants also receive vocational training and advice and guidance sessions with JET Disability Employment Advisers who will support participants to progress into sustainable employment at the end of the programme.
Employers providing work placements for the programme include Tower Hamlets Homes, The Felix Project and The Half Moon Theatre and the programme has so far achieved close to 50% sustained employment outcomes for participants.
Stepping up for Employment
Step Up For Work at Minstead Trust is a combination of classroom learning and in-work mentoring for people with learning disabilities, leading to paid employment with local companies.
An initial training course, covering all key aspects of employment, such as health and safety, personal conduct, is followed by up to six months supported work placements, where our employability mentors help trainees transfer skills from the training course into the workplace. A living CV through placement observations and a diary system supports applications for paid employment.
Minstead Trust also works with potential employers, providing training, advice, and on-going support, as required, to feel confident to employ someone with a learning disability.
Bob: Bob, at the age of 22, was taken on as a paid employee at Milestone Infrastructure as part of their construction safety team. Bob has been thrilled with the placement, saying "they needed a yard person, and they thought of me…I’m very pleased to have this job and being able to get paid”. Customer Liaison Manager Charlie Green said “He’s well integrated into the team and he’s been a fantastic worker".
Luci: Luci came to Lily and Lime Cafe on a Step Up For Work placement and showed great potential for the apprenticeship programme. Luci’s confidence has grown since starting the apprenticeship and she has gone above and beyond to support other trainees in developing their skills in the kitchen. Luci said "The Step Up For Work programme gave me a confidence boost to be where I am now, which is on an apprenticeship at Lily and Lime. I am enjoying my time there because I am respected and valued as an individual".
Skilling Up in the Digital Age
Re-BUILD and Connect was a project run by the BUILD Charity in Norfolk to re-build the confidence of adults with disabilities as they emerged from the Covid-19 isolation restrictions, and to give new, or updated skills for digital engagement. A once a week session over a 12 week programme saw participants get new iPads and the skills to use them, as well as learning planning, teamwork and leadership skills, at the same time as developing personal health and wellbeing plans and increasing social skills.
The programme culminated with a formal "Graduation" ceremony hosted by a representative of HM The Queen, at which participants hosted specially invited guests (friends and family) and the teams who had supported their progress. Each received a certificate, resource pack and progress chart showing all the areas where they had progressed since starting the course.
In the autumn of 2021 the programme was independently reviewed by a trainee Occupational Therapist collecting views from participants, support teams and carers which has led to improvements for the 2022 programme.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Plymouth Parent Advocacy Project aims to provide a comprehensive advocacy service for parents with a learning disability at whatever their stage of their parenting, including pre-birth or after a child is removed from their care. The service includes peer support groups and easy read information.
We support parents through challenging processes regarding their children, ensuring that they understand information, feel able to express their views, are able to access appropriate support and receive a fair assessment.
WISER, the latest addition to our services, is an accessible domestic abuse awareness programme, specifically for women with a learning disability.