Case Study: Supporting People into Employment at The REACCH Project and Parchment Trust
According to NHS Digital, only 5.1% of adults with a learning disability known to their local authority in England are in paid work.
As part of their commitment to be a force for good and assist people into employment, High Speed Training have donated a number of courses to two charities that work with people with autism and learning difficulties: REACCH South West CIC and The Parchment Trust.
The REACCH Project South West CIC
The REACCH Project South West CIC (Real Employability for people with Autism and Communication CHallenges) is a project based in Cornwall that works with adults and young people with autism and other learning difficulties.
The REACCH project caters for people in their late-teens to their late 30s, and Joe now works with a number of the attendees, sharing his skills with computers and photography. High Speed Training supplied REACCH with 26 courses to assist in the training of their staff and attendees, and help to develop their members’ employability skills.
REACCH is probably the most unique place and service of its kind that I know of. It’s a real passion project.
I came to REACCH as an attendee when it first opened ten years ago. In recent years, I’ve been offered a role working with some of the other attendees, helping out with things like woodworking, lego sessions and going on leisure activity trips and work placements.
Joe, a former REACCH attendee who now works part time at the project, working one-on-one with other members
Joe has taken a range of courses from High Speed Training, including Workplace First Aid, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, and Autism Awareness, which have allowed him to flourish in his role working at the centre.
As I’m working, I’ve been building up my qualifications and experience. I like being in a role where I can help and support people.
One of the key aims of High Speed Training’s community strategy is to help people into long term employment, and Joe feels that this first role has been a hugely important step in his career.
As a career path, I feel like this is what I’d like to do. Doing this kind of work long term, that’s my end goal.
I massively enjoy it and find it really rewarding – it means a lot to me to know that I’m doing something worthwhile.
Mary Pittman, who is a Founder and Director of The REACCH Project South West CIC said that High Speed Training courses have been incredibly important in supporting Joe and the work of the project generally.
High Speed Training Courses are so quick and easy to access and cover such a wide range of areas. This means we can meet the needs of both the core team and those of our REACCH members who need to develop their CVs and practical employability knowledge.
Joe is an excellent example of where targeted High Speed Training courses were selected to match his very specific one to one support role.
Choosing the right combination of courses has been key in enabling Joe to grow in this work placement and become a valued member of the team.
Mary, Founder and Director of The REACCH Project South West CIC
The charity runs a number of services, including a horticultural nursery which is open to the public and run by the members it supports, education and leisure services and a supported employment scheme.
The employment scheme aims to secure paid employment for their members in local businesses. A popular vocational route among their members is employment in the catering trade.
In October 2022, Jack, aged 34, completed his L2 Food Hygiene course. Shortly after, he was able to start a paid placement at a local care home, working 6 hours a week in a pop up coffee shop in the garden, serving residents tea, coffee and cake.
Jack really blossomed in the role, and before long, he was asking to take on more responsibility, and showed a desire to work in the main kitchen at the care home.
Jack’s hours were increased to 18 hours a week, and he began to work in the main kitchen, preparing meals for the residents.
Now, Jack is working 24 hours a week at the home, and no longer requires the support of the Parchment Trust.
High Speed Training has also supplied the Parchment Trust with a Care Certificate course to assist Jack on his career path at the home.
We are so thrilled for Jack, and proud of the progress that he has made. We are sad to see him go but we are really pleased, it’s a real success story.
Jack previously also worked alongside a caretaker at a local school, but he has given that up to focus on his passion. His dad is also a chef so it’s great to see him progressing so well.
He has absolutely flown since starting there. He’s taken off and done so well.
Heather Knoll, Employment Coach at the Parchment Trust
My experience at Elizabeth Court has been brilliant. I was nervous at first, but I’ve had a lot of support from the team and from my supervisor. Now, instead of waiting to be told what to do, I’m able to ask what I need to do next.
I help to get the lunches ready, I help prepare the vegetables and chop them to the correct size for cooking and I also help with making cakes and icing them
Working and having a job has given me independence and has helped me to get back into a busy routine, where I get to meet new people. I enjoy getting along with new staff.
Also, I enjoy learning new skills. I learn something new every day. Having a job helps me to save money, so I have more money to go out, book a holiday and do more things.
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