Only 6% of people with learning disabilities has a job whereas around 60% actually want to go out and work.
The Grange Charity in Bookham has been working with the specialist learning disability publisher, Beyond Words Books, to highlight the serious issue of disability and work.
Grange resident, Katie Coen, and Work Experience Co ordinator, Mel Sheehan, were present at the launch of the books at the House of Lords last week.
Beyond Words Books was created by Baroness Sheila Hollins of Wimbledon (a Bookham resident), who had the idea of using wordless illustrated books to help people with learning disabilities tackle everyday issues of life.
Gaining work for a person with a disability can be very hard. The Grange itself has a strong track record in creating work experience and paid work opportunities, partnering with over 30 Surrey employers and staff were delighted to be involved in the new titles. Katie is a member of the team at The Grange which packs and despatches orders for the books on behalf of Beyond Words and is involved in testing and evaluating new titles in weekly reading groups.
Mel Sheehan, The Grange’s Work Experience Co-ordinator said:
‘We could get so many more people with learning disabilities into work placements but some employers are uncertain about it. I’m here to take the mystery out of the process, and provide
a hand-holding service for employers and our people alike. We would love to hear from other local businesses interested in working with us.’
Grange Chief Executive, Eloise Appleby, added:
‘Research by Mencap shows that employees with learning disabilities bring real benefits to employers.
‘They have fewer sick days, they stay longer and are often more punctual than other staff. Employers say that people with learning disabilities bring diversity to the organisation and raise morale, as well as enhancing the reputation of the company.’
Any employers in the area who would like to know more about offering work placements can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call