Bridge Creative has launched their #IWantToWork campaign as part of Learning Disability Work Week (9th to 15th November) to 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.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) only 10 people with learning disabilities are in paid employment in County Durham, out of a population of over half a million. This is 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 start training with Inclusion North to become directors of the organisation.
Shaun Ridley is one of them and he 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.
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’.
To raise awareness an accessible blog has been launched on their website: www.bridgecreative.org.
Bridge Creative also want to encourage employers to think differently when it comes to employing someone with a learning disability. They are asking employers who want to discuss how they can support someone with a learning disability to work in their organisation, to get in touch.
Photo: Bridge Creative