Individuals supported by social care charity Community Integrated Care have developed new skills for work and volunteering, thanks to a unique Employability Partnership with the Saints Community Development Foundation.
Over thirty people from St Helens and the surrounding areas successfully completed a 30-week course, specially designed for people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health concerns.
Bringing together accessible education, fun activities, and exclusive experiences, the course promoted invaluable workplace and life skills. Through exploring the routines and goals set by professional Rugby League players and using the excitement of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 to empower the group, it offered a uniquely engaging platform to build vocational confidence.
To mark their success, SCDF hosted a special celebration event for the group – with special guest Saints and England star Tara Jones. Reuniting members of the course, who had not seen each other in person for more than a year due to the pandemic, the event was an emotional and exciting experience.
The course aligns with Community Integrated Care’s wider efforts to create vocational opportunities for people who access social care, empowering people to make an incredible impact.
More than 180 people in Merseyside are part of Community Integrated Care’s ground-breaking Inclusive Volunteering Partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2021, which provides people with life changing vocational opportunities and support inspired by the tournament.
Several members of this employability group have also secured paid work. John-Paul Derbyshire, a lifelong Saints fans, secured his dream job role – helping to assess and plan the charity’s programmes with the Rugby League Club. John Eden from St Helens also secured his first ever paid job role, aged 56, helping to manage food deliveries to the charity’s services across Merseyside.
The impact of these efforts cannot be understated. Just 6% of people who have learning disabilities are in paid work. By coming together to provide support, education and experiences, Community Integrated Care, Saints, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021 are promoting equality and opportunity.
John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, says;
“We’re proud to work with Saints Foundation and the sport of Rugby League to change lives. This programme is a special example of organisations working together to enable people to fulfil their potential. We would like to congratulate everyone who has completed this course and give our sincere thanks to the colleagues and family members who have helped to support their success.”
Jenny Welsby, Saints Community Development Foundation said:
“It has been fantastic to see the participants develop lots of skills and enjoy special experiences through the course. We are proud that this programmme will make a difference in many areas of their lives, including accessing work or volunteering.”