A celebration of a project to help people with disabilities in to the world of work – July 14

A special tea party is to be held to raise awareness of a project that helps adults with a disability from Oxfordshire to be more active make new friends, volunteer and find employment.

OxForward is the Oxfordshire County Council’s Wellbeing and Employment Support Service and from January 2016 to June 2017 has supported 65 people to secure full or part time jobs and 54 people in to volunteering roles.

The event will be held at Wolvercote Young People’s Club in St Peter’s Road on Friday, July 14 from 1 to 4pm and there will be competitions with prizes, free tea, cake and delicious food, activities and entertainment including karaoke.

Information about local jobs and volunteering opportunities and a free employability workshop will also be available.

Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “OxForward really is an unsung service that deserves some limelight. They facilitate life altering changes for people who may not otherwise get such opportunities.”

“What could be better than combining a Summer’s afternoon and some fun with learning more about what OxForward does on a day by day basis for people with disabilities in Oxfordshire?”

Meet the people whose lives have been transformed

Francois’ story

Francois Aubrey from Oxford a young man with learning disabilities, had been a volunteer with RAW, an Oxfordshire wood recycling organisation for the past 2 years. When Francois came to OxForward he lacked confidence and ambition and could not think of himself as being good enough to get a paid job. At assessment the OxForward case worker discussed Francois ‘

goals with him and together they worked on helping Francois

 to be more confident and to value the skills he picked up as a volunteer. With a lot of support Francois was ready to think of himself as being capable of doing paid work. At the same time OxForward worked with RAW to understand the benefits of creating paid employment for Francois

It was agreed that Francois could work on a paid part time basis for RAW. Francois is over the moon and amazed with what he has achieved. For the time being OxForward will continue to support Francois and RAW to help Francois settle in.

David’s story

David Cantwell from Oxford is a young man who has worked tirelessly with various projects in Oxford to try to identify and secure employment, without success.

He is a highly motivated person and since he referred himself on the 5th October 2016 he has attended every session asked of him and participated in all activities. During that time, OxForward have worked with David to increase his self-confidence and employability skills.

David has not been formally diagnosed with Autism, and he is awaiting an assessment.

He is polite, honest and very helpful to others, this he has demonstrated on several occasions during his time at OxForward.

Almost to the end of his time here his case worker identified a potential job and arranged an interview. David attended the interview and that day was offered the position. Feedback from the interview and his application was excellent and they commented about how motivated he is and they look forward to working with him.

David is extremely pleased with the outcome and feels that his next good news is to get a place of his own. The cogs of this wheel are already in motion.

Ruby’s story

Ruby Pepper from Oxford came to OxForward with aspirations of meeting new people. Confidence was quite low and Ruby was keen to get involved with all activities within the centre.

It became quite clear that as time went by Ruby’s confidence was growing.

Her case worker saw huge potential and offered her the opportunity of working within the OxForward centre as a Travel Buddy

Ruby has been diagnosed with Autism.

This position has enabled her to gain in confidence and experience.

Oxford Learning Disability Team came along and in conjunction with My Life My Choice decided to make a film about health checks and chose her as a main character.

Since the completion of filming Ruby has secured herself a job as data administrator and is over the moon.