Learning Disability Week to focus on employment

Published: Monday, 19th June 2017

Businesses are being encouraged to come forward to offer employment opportunities to people with a learning disability.

Placements are needed in workplace settings within Stoke-on-Trent to help to improve their employment chances.

The city council has arranged a number of events during Learning Disability Week – which starts today and runs until Friday – to break down barriers and challenge perceptions.

A new online radio show launched today (Monday) with 6 Towns Radio. The programme is hosted by adults with a learning disability to bring the community together and inform people about local activities and groups, as well as new opportunities available. 

Listeners are invited to contribute to topics to be discussed – enabling the whole community to get involved.

Lord Mayor Ross Irving was joined by Stoke City FC legend Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin to formally open the awareness week live on the show. They then travelled to Duke Street Day Service, in Heron Cross, to take part in a coffee morning with service users.

One service user is already benefiting from finding paid employment with the support of the city council.

Daniel Murphy, from Birches Head, started working at the home furnishing retailer Dunelm, in Stoke, on a voluntary placement in November 2016. He has now progressed to paid work since March this year.

The 31-year-old said: “I love working at Dunelm – the customers and staff are friendly. It's given me more confidence and I now work two days a week.”

Councillor Ann James, the city council’s cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Learning Disability Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the day-to-day issues faced by people with learning disabilities, as well as the successes of our service users.

“The week’s programme aims to celebrate the work and activities available for people, and to understand any current gaps in the market. It is also a chance to signpost those with a learning disability into established community activities and to break down barriers and challenge perceptions.

“Daniel’s story is a brilliant example of how people’s confidence can thrive in the workplace, and I would encourage all businesses to think about how they could offer the same kind of opportunities.”

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