London funder awards £360k to support people with disabilities into jobs

Two London charities have been granted over £360k to help support people with physical and learning disabilities into employment.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, has granted £250,000 to disability charity Scope, based in Islington and £114,000 to Toucan Employment, in Southwark.

Both charities are working to transform the lives of disabled people, many of whom have never worked.

Scope’s funding will go towards the charities’ East London programmes, supporting disabled people to find, apply for and maintain work. The programme seeks to enhance self-confidence, improve basic job skills and help hard to reach young people stay in employment.

Toucan’s grant will go towards a ‘Workstart Project’ supporting young people with learning disabilities in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham to enter paid employment. It will offer advice, guidance and advice to help the 16-25 year olds who are Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) to find work. It will develop and run Job Clubs for 24 young people each year which will provide intensive training and follow up support once they have found employment.

The grants are expected to benefit around 100 people with disabilities in London every year.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said:

“We recognise that the barriers to employment faced by disabled people can be multiple and complex, but many challenges can be overcome with the right support.

“Both these charities are already changing lives with the advice and guidance they are offering young people. Having a job offers independence and is key to boosting confidence.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”

Alex Margolies, CEO of Toucan Employment, added:

“This award will enable us to undertake specialist work with young people with learning difficulties and disabilities whose needs are not being met elsewhere.

“The project will enable young people who are NEET and want to enter paid employment, but need specialist support, advice, and guidance to achieve this.

“We feel this work is key as any periods of unemployment for young people can have a real detriment to their later working life. The positive outcomes for those young people entering employment is truly life-changing.”

Tracy Griffin, Executive Director of Fundraising, Communications and Marketing at disability charity Scope said:

Many disabled people face huge barriers getting into work and can often be seen as risky hires by employers in our capital. In London, under half of disabled adults are employed and the majority feel they have lost out on a job opportunity because of their impairment or health condition, leaving many opting not to disclose their impairment for fear of rejection.

“Through City Bridge Trust’s funding for our Kickstart programme in the London boroughs of Camden, Hackney and Islington, we will have the chance to tackle these issues head on. The programme will deliver highly personalised and tailored packages to help forge sustainable careers for many disabled Londoners”.

City Bridge Trust is London’s largest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7, 600 grants totalling over £365 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.

Case study- Tim’s story (supported by Toucan Employment)

One of the young people,Tim, had no previous work history, even though he is extremely personable and capable. Toucan Employment worked with Tim to build up his confidence, develop a CV, write covering letters, and look into suitable opportunities for him. A link was made with Crystal Palace FC, and Tim was supported to apply for a role as a Turnstile Attendant (which he was very happy to get being a Crystal Palace FC fan). The charity then developed the idea of a collaborative project with BT for people with autism, and having strong IT skills, we suggested to Tim that this might be something he’d be interested in. Tim did very well in the short work experience with the Cisco team at BT, and so when an opportunity came up, they encouraged Tim to apply for it. Toucan employment supported Tim through the application process and eventually he was successful. He has now been in the role for just over a month now and is doing very well.



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