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Taking Charge with Drive

What is Take Charge?

Take Charge is a project provided by Innovate Trust and funded by the WCVA ESF Active Inclusion fund. This project has seen people gain supported employment, volunteering opportunities, new hobbies, and more.

Our Take Charge project has been running since February 2020 in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. In February 2021, we expanded the project to Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT). Since the beginning of Take Charge, we have supported 172 eligible people to achieve the next steps in their journey to employment.

The project supports people over 25 who have self-declared work-limiting health conditions in improving their skills and well-being. Take Charge provides tailored, person-centred support for eligible individuals to help them get closer to employment. 

Once we have received a referral, we work with individuals and their support network to sign them up and provide the support they need to reach their goals. Most of the time, this is through one-to-one training sessions to gain work-relevant certificates and part-accredited qualifications. We also run group activities designed to help improve confidence and other soft skills. 

All aspects of our training incorporate three cross-cutting themes: anti-poverty and social exclusion, sustainable development and equal opportunities. Once people feel ready, we help them move on to a new course, a unique volunteering opportunity or another project with the specific aim of searching for paid employment.

Forming a partnership with Drive

After providing our service to all interested individuals at Innovate Trust, job centre referrals, and Rhondda Cynon Taf council supported living schemes, we contacted Drive, another supported living provider, to offer our services to their supported individuals with Learning Disabilities.

We are always looking to create new partnerships and work with other providers in the third sector. We are eager for as many people as possible to benefit from our projects, such as Take Charge. 

Want to get involved? Take a look at our current ongoing projects on our Skills and Wellbeing page.

Working with individuals

After the initial consultation, we arranged to attend a coffee morning at Penllew Court with Drive and interested participants. The coffee morning was very popular!

We discussed options available for individuals regarding the training we could offer. Our most popular courses were First Aid, Fire Safety, and Improving Confidence and Well-being. It was lovely to see that individuals already had the drive to improve and try new things, such as volunteering.

Attendees were happy to share their varying interests with us, ranging from wanting to learn how to play the guitar to volunteering in a charity shop. By harnessing these goals, we have been able to provide a person-centred approach to our training.

We have since signed up 15 of Drive’s supported individuals with Learning Disabilities. We are also working with 10 individuals with Learning Disabilities outside of Take Charge for various reasons, including being under 25 or already engaged with a different Active Inclusion project. 

At Innovate Trust, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive organisation. We were keen to include all people supported by Drive who were interested regardless of eligibility for Take Charge.

Achievements

Innovate Trust have provided a diverse range of accessible, specifically tailored courses for participants in terms of their current skill set and what they want to achieve:

  • – First Aid training
  • – Fire Safety training
  • – BSL and Makaton training
  • – Confidence course
  • – Part-accredited resilience course
  • – Well-being workshop
  • – Anxiety workshop
  • – Literacy taster sessions
  • – Sustainable Development workshops
  • – Anti-poverty and social exclusion workshops

 

Supported Employment, Volunteering and more!

Once people have achieved everything they want to on the project, we help them to move on to new things. Drive’s participants felt more confident and ready for a new challenge. So far, we have supported people in finding these move-on opportunities:

  • – Five people are attending a painting class with Canolfan Pennar
  • – Five people are now volunteering on Drive’s interview panel
  • – Three people are now Fire Buddy volunteers carrying out the fire safety checks for Drive’s supported living schemes
  • – Three people have been referred to the RCT Employer Liaison Work Placement Officer to volunteer on food projects
  • – One person with higher support needs is now attending Shiny Happy People music activities provided by our sister charity SVC
  • – Three people have been referred to Careers Wales to look for supported employment

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