Finding a way to work

Hello all,
I’m a research student and parent exploring ways that young people with intellectual and developental disabilities can have a working life that fits their strengths, interests and abilities.
I’m interested in the potential of ‘self build’ work opportunities - paid and unpaid - where people find a way in to the kind of work that suits them and take a PA to work with them to make it possible.
Do you know someone doing something like that?
I’m interested in all sorts of examples and I’m especially interested in finding a some specific cases to investigate.
Please get in touch!

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See CNTW project choice for info

Hi if you get in touch with Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG. A couple of years ago they did a similar thing they may be able to help.

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Supported Internship Programmes – lots of providers are delivering these programmes. I’m sure there will be one local to you. Also,
check out Remploy, Scope also do employability programmes. Mencap have also done a lot of research and delivered projects.

We are currently delivering a project in Nottinghamshire but very much in development this year with only 2 students.


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my Son is on a journey with what you describe as his destination. Finding it a hard path to forge here, so far.
Very happy for you to get in touch…

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Hi Phil,

Many thanks for the links - I’ll take a good look.
My main interest, though, is in the ‘self-build’ aspect - doing it outside an organised scheme. Do you have any more thoughts?
Best to you,

Hi Mandimoo - thanks very much for the contact. Hugely appreciated. I’ll get onto it!

Hi Loup,
Thanks for your information. It’s always good to hear of positive initiatives.
My research is about ‘self build’ versions of supported work - that is, outside organised schemes. I have - and am looking for! - cases of young people finding a niche, getting access and supporting their participation by taking a Personal Assistant with them. I know they’re out there - but they’re not so easy to find!

Hi Kate,
Thanks for your response. Can you tell me where you son is on this journey? Does he have a place to work or is he still seeking? Let me know and I’d be happy to talk further.
Great to hear from you.

Hi Phil,

Thanks for responding to my call! I’m trying to find people who are doing this outside organised supported employment schemes. Seems to me that there are great schemes out there, but they don’t catch everyone. One positive of self-directed support is that you can ‘do it yourself’ (in some circumstances, with good support). In my view, with a 93% unemployment rate for people with learning disabilities there’s got to be room for everything! Your thoughts?

The journey is that two years of further edition hasn’t really helped him understand what ‘work’ is, and so he will start with a bespoke provider who will hopefully help him identify a spark of vocation. And then, the idea is that, with support, he can embark on a journey to starting to follow his vocational calling. Whatever that turns out to be

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There are rare examples of people accessing voluntary jobs like charity shops for example most I am aware of have accessed work through more formal routes of supported employment via care providers advocacy centres etc

Hi Abigail

Keith Bates from Mutually Inclusive might be a useful contact:

Good luck with your research.