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Supporting employment dreams in Gloucestershire

Published
13.12.2017

The county council and the Forwards Employment Service are doing excellent work to deliver fortnightly Forwards Work Clubs to support disabled people in the workplace.

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Forwards Work Clubs provide valuable support to disabled people who want to find work. Forwards is an all age, all disability service, supporting people with disabilities to achieve their employment goals.

Anyone can come to Forwards if they have a disability, health condition or need some support to gain confidence. Work clubs provide career help to identify skills and job goals, improve confidence, manage anxiety and overcome barriers.

Jessica Davies started work as a customer service advisor with the SuperGroup in Cheltenham in October and has been enjoying every second of her new role. She said: “Forwards helped me to find a job. Not just any job, but one that matched my needs and skills.

“My job at SuperGroup has changed my life for the better. Working has made me feel more independent and less stressful. Even to the point where I drive to work. I’ve made a lot of friends and I get great support from my supervisors; they understand my needs which have enabled me to do my job.”

Forwards has teamed up with adult education team at the county council to make sure customers receive the best support possible to make their employment dreams a reality. Forwards Work Clubs run on a fortnightly basis and are delivered by a tutor supported by experienced Forwards staff alongside partners such as 2Gether Trust, Barclays and other local organisations.

Cathy Bradshaw, assistant head teacher at The Shrubberies School, said: “All of our students have severe learning difficulties, including some with autism. It has been highly beneficial for them to work with Forwards Employment. The opportunities presented to develop work and communication skills and prepare for life beyond school have been highly beneficial.

“Students have developed confidence in working with unfamiliar people; identifying their own skills and qualities and successfully taking part in mock interviews with local business representatives.”

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care delivery, said: “The work the county council and services like Forwards are doing for people with disabilities and complex needs is inspirational. Working together to embrace disability benefits everyone and I hope that with continued support we can get even more people into the workplace.”

If you want more information, or wish to attend one of our work clubs, please complete the referral form and email it to forwards@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

To find out more about the Forwards Employment Service, you can visit http://www.forwardsgloucestershire.co.uk/.

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