July 2017

Monthly Archives

7to97 – The Westminster School

1. Tell us what you do.
Currently only 7% of young people in the UK with a learning difficulty get paid employment after leaving education and training. We aim to equip our young people with employability skills and giving them the opportunity to work on all aspects product design and development, marketing and retailing.

The Westminster School is determined to address this issue through the curriculum and opportunities we offer our young people. In September 2016, we established our Social Enterprise initiative, 7to97, which complemented our work experience and vocational further education courses that we already had in place at school.

One of our key aims is to raise awareness in the local business community of the talents and skills of our students (e.g. creativity, work ethic, passion) and how they would be an invaluable asset to any business. All of our young people aspire to work when they leave education, with many saying they want to be able support their families in the future through paid employment.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is that all students involved in the 7to97 project have had the opportunity to sell to the public through street markets. They have shown confidence when serving customers, and this was particularly evident at Digbeth Arts Market. Students gave up their Saturday to help set up and run the stall. We are extremely proud of all the young people who have taken part in the project.

3. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans moving forward are to diversify and expand our range of products and increase our links with local business. We have been very fortunate to be supported by a local steel company who regularly donate items to us and we are currently in discussions with a wedding company in Birmingham in order to support them with wedding favours. We have also been approached by Digbeth Dining Club and the Arts Market to run more stalls at future events.

4. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We would like SCVO to support us by signposting us to people who could give business advice and guidance to our students, and provide general support to our 7to97 initiative to help ensure that we give our students the best possible chance of getting the skills they need for paid employment.


Spotlight Feature: Action on Hearing Loss

1 Tell us what you do
We are a National Charity providing opportunities for sharing best practice, skills, knowledge and advice to Deaf people or people with acquired hearing loss/tinnitus. We aim to be a key point of contact for commissioners and providers of health and care services including all aspects of audiology and general care and support.

Our core business outlines the prevalence and impact of hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus across the UK. We focus on society’s response and what needs to be done across three key areas – The growing need for better support and care, improved technology and treatments and equality of access to services for people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

2 What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement was obtaining a Level A from Sandwell Supporting People Commissioning Team, evidencing they fully understand our service provision and the support we provide. We against a recognised Quality Assessment Framework.

3 What is your experience of support received from SCVO
Action on Hearing loss has been an active member of SCVO’s forum meetings and we find these useful for liaising with other organisations, and knowing what other services are available which we use to signpost our members to other services.

4 What is the most valuable lesson you learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Deaf people need communication support in place to reduce stress; anxieties; mental health and general health issues but more importantly to reduce any misunderstandings due to communication barriers.

More basic support provision needs to be in place to address the needs of our deaf community to increase their opportunities to participate within their community. When support is not in place for deaf people there is a risk of communication break-down; frustration; mental health issues; health concerns and isolation.

5 What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our main focus is working towards meeting our overall strategy aims-Taking Action Strategy 2013-18 and our Care and Support Midlands operational plan. This is pivotal to maintaining our purpose of delivery support to those people using our services, engaging with key commissioners and new customers.

6 How can SCVO help you to support your organisation in the future?
Sharing information about our services with other organisations and exploring potential ways for joint working.

SCVO can also help us to promote our services together with signposting and attracting individuals who are interested in volunteering with our organisation.

Action on Hearing Loss Information Line: Telephone 0808 808 0123 | Textphone 0808 808 9000 | SMS 0780 0000 360
informationline@hearingloss.org.uk

For more information please see their website by clicking here.