How a Warwickshire social enterprise is helping disabled adults combat the cost of living crisis

Entrust Care Partnership was set up in 2013 with the ambition of supporting and fulfilling the aspirations and needs of disabled children, young people and their families. Ten years on, many young people in Warwickshire have received support and are being helped to reach their potential in many aspects of life, including employment. Here, Entrust Care Partnerships employment development manager, Aimee Mann, talks about her role and how she has helped Claire Olley from Kenilworth reach her potential.
Claire in her customer service role at Compass UK, Jaguar Land Rover.Claire in her customer service role at Compass UK, Jaguar Land Rover.
Claire in her customer service role at Compass UK, Jaguar Land Rover.

Life costs £583 more on average a month if you're disabled and with the cost of living crisis rampaging on, more and more disabled people and those with additional learning needs are finding themselves on the poverty line.

Disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people’ and around 94.9 per cent of people with a learning disability are unemployed in the UK.

Young people in Warwickshire who have additional learning needs are much more vulnerable since Covid and the cost of living crisis. This is because it’s so much harder for them to find regular part or full-time work to supplement their low income.

So a Warwickshire social enterprise, Entrust Care Partnership, is doing its best to change the tide of unemployment for disabled people, through its Pathway to Employment initiative.

Over the past six months trainees have been settling into their new paid jobs with Entrust Employer Partners such as Dobbies Garden Centre, Stratford Race Course and Compass Group UK, based at Jaguar Land Rover.

Claire Olley from Kenilworth is working at Compass Group with the support of Entrust Partners and a job coach. Working together in the early stages of a paid job to help companies shape jobs and look at reasonable adjustments goes a long way to success and longevity.

Claire is a huge success story and an inspiration to others. It was clear from the start that a customer service role would be Claire’s happy place. The search began for an inclusive employer that knew they would be invigorating their team by employing a diverse range of people.

Entrust Care Partnership found this in Ms O’Gorman, deputy general manager at Compass UK, based at Jaguar Land Rover Gaydon. Reasonable adjustments were discussed at the interview, which when put in place would see Claire flourish. Part time hours, a well-timed break, written instructions and additional time given to support learning plus on the ground support from Entrust, during the initial stages, were the key adjustments.

Ms O’Gorman could see Claire would be an asset to her team, took her additional learning needs on board, ensured she could deliver the reasonable adjustments and offered her a job. She said that learning more about Claire and how she learns has helped her to see all of her staff's different learning styles and created lots of positive conversations around disability within the staff team.

For me, it has been a privilege to work with Claire and help her reach her potential. She has also received some truly positive feedback from JLR employees about the impact Claire has had on them.

If you, or someone you know, has additional learning needs and would like to secure paid employment, contact me (Aimee Mann) at Entrust Care Partnership to find out more: [email protected]