Vocational Support Services

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Dignity Recognition for Merseyside Employers!

Employers in Merseyside who have offered great work experiences to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health concerns, have been recognised for their achievements today on World Dignity Action Day.

The team at Community Integrated Care’s Vocational Support Service have today presented special certificates to 25 local employers who have embraced inclusive employment. Vocational Support is a specialist service based in Wavertree, Liverpool that works with businesses to facilitate the employment and volunteering of people with support needs.

This recognition today celebrates businesses who have partnered with Vocational Support to offer people rewarding work experiences, and in doing so, promoted their dignity and social inclusion. Businesses who have received this special recognition include: Barnardo’s, Take Two, Everton in the Community, British Red Cross, Tesco, Costa and Festival Gardens.

Vocational Support Service assists 45 people across Merseyside. The service works closely with people who have support needs to secure work or volunteering opportunities which reflects their skills, interests and life goals. They provide them with a range of support, including mentoring and training. It also works closely with employers too, ensuring that they receive all of the support and guidance necessary to offer a great placement.

Renata Davies, Manager of Vocational Support, says: “At Vocational Support Service we are committed to developing long-lasting, mutually supportive relationships with employers.  We wanted to publically celebrate the local businesses who show commitment to offering people with support needs valuable placements, which promote their dignity and provide wonderful life experiences.”

She continues, “There are lots of myths and prejudices which discourage employers from employing people with disabilities and we work hard to educate and support employers, highlighting the benefits of employing people with additional needs. We are constantly receiving feedback from the employers we work with, praising the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the people we support and the Vocational Support Service staff who assist them. We hope that others seeing the success of these 25 brilliant local businesses will be inspired to follow their lead.” 

Meet some of the people supported at Vocational Support and the household names they’ve worked with…

Amy McConville

[The following statement was signed by Brian Smith, the Manager of the Speke branch of Costa Coffee]

Amy Costa“Amy joined Costa as a Barista in July, 2010, supported by Community Integrated Care. She works on Fridays in our Speke branch during the lunch-time rush and is an asset to us. Amy is tremendously hard-working and her work ethic, as well as her smiles and laughter, can be infectious. It is a joy to see Amy chatting to the customers as she goes about her work. She works non-stop and rises to all of the challenges of working in a busy Costa coffee shop. Amy clearly loves her job and is a valued member of our supportive and friendly team of Baristas.”

James Hitchmough & Steven Craney

James is currently working at the Festival Gardens Riverside in Liverpool. The Rangers at the Festival gardens site are very good at identifying tasks that interest and challenge both volunteers. The Rangers will engage in conversation with Steven and James about their other work or hobbies, whilst working alongside them. Toward the end of 2015, the Rangers began the process of nominating James for a ‘Love Parks’ award for his work and enthusiasm on the site.

Amy Jenkins

Amy works at Barnardo’s in Liverpool City Centre. There is lots of natural support in the placement and they strive to help Amy become more independent in the workplace. Recently, two of the other volunteers who work in the shop alongside Amy got married. Amy was really excited about the wedding and was invited along to the evening reception, which she attended with her dad and had a fabulous time!

Jamie Keeley at McDonaldsJamie Keeley

Jamie works one day per week in McDonalds in Huyton. The manager and staff have been really supportive and treat Jamie like all of his other colleagues.

Jamie loves his placement and since being there as developed natural relationships with his work colleagues. Hopefully this will soon lead to a paid position for Jamie, as his role is so valued by his colleagues.

Mustafa Mohammed

Mustafa is on a placement at Blackburn House Bistro, in Liverpool City Centre. From day one the manager and all the staff have helped develop Mustafa’s social interaction and work-based skills. He loves getting involved in the day to day banter of the busy kitchen, where he works two days per week.

Katie Bell

Katie BellKatie works at Everton in the Community even though she is a season ticket holder at Liverpool! Katie has been nominated for awards there and has attended these award ceremonies with her parents. At the moment Katie is working with people with dementia who go along to Goodison Park and talk about days gone by and they are taken on stadium tours etc. Sometimes Katie is offered reduced ticket prices to attend the games but normally declines them!

Liam Donaldson

Liam works at the Watchmaker Pub in Prescot. He completed a 12 week working interview and was then offered a paid role at the end of this! Liam is very much so treated as part of the team at The Watchmaker and after his first week of working there, pulled his first pint!

Robert Brownbill and Lance Wallace 

Robert and Lance each volunteer for one day a week at Fareshare, helping with all aspects of the life of the food bank warehouse, from sorting donations for storage to selecting items for orders to general cleaning. The staff at Fareshare are always keen to keep Robert and Lance involved in conversation and both gentlemen are often complimented on their work ethic and commitment to their work. 

Matthew Evans

Matthew EvansMatthew is a valued member of the team at his placement. He works at British Red Cross in Old Swan, Liverpool and is included in all that they do.

He is treated very much so as a team member and recently had a birthday. Matthew invited the whole team to the theatre for his birthday and a lot of the management and staff went along!

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