The Co-operative Group have a well-deserved reputation for their innovative work in helping people with learning disabilities find work. They and Mencap have been recognised for their Making Opportunities employment partnership.
At the Third Sector Business Charity Awards, The Co-operative picked up the award for best employment scheme. The partnership helps people with a learning disability find paid employment through work trials.
Tuulikki Harling, regional service manager, Gary Alexander and Sophie Smedley from The Co-operative went along to pick up the award. They are pictured here with Huw Edwards, BBC News at Ten presenter who hosted the awards.
The scheme started in 2008 in Nottingham. Co-op store managers recruited people with a learning disability to do work placements. Mencap worked with the recruits to help prepare them for work and support them during their placements. Of the 9 people who took part in this original pilot, 7 went into paid employment afterwards.
Now teams in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Mencap Cymru and England are being linked to their local Co-op stores to get more individuals with a learning disability into paid work.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing examples of successful outcomes for people with learning disabilities finding and keeping work with the Co-operative Group.
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