Innovative partnership helps learning disabled people in Sussex gain paid employment

A partnership with our charity in Sussex is helping save the environment and opening employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

Ton loves working for Inspired

Research shows that only 6% of people with a learning disability and 15% of people with autism are in paid employment, yet most want to work. This means, for many, having a paid job is a dream instead of a reality.

Despite these statistics, there are success stories where organisations have thought outside the box to provide employment opportunities for the people they support – giving people they support more independence, aspirations and knowing that they contribute to society.

One such programme, aptly named “Inspired”, has created a unique partnership between local charity Outreach 3 Way and sustainable cabin service company MNH for the past 20 years.

MNH works with 8-12 different airlines to recycle items used during long haul flights, such as headphones and eye masks.

The unique project runs five days a week and currently employs 11 people who are supported by Outreach 3 Way, they are allocated to different teams depending on the items they’re recycling.

Graham and Susan are becoming more confident through work

Inspired is currently recruiting their next set of employees and considering how they can open the project up to the wider community too.

Matt Cairns, Outreach 3 Way Site and Locality Manager, said: “The programme is a fantastic way of empowering the people we support and giving them the skills they need to progress into other paid employment in the future.

“Inspired is a bit of a hidden gem – not many people know about it outside of the organisation.

“We hope to change this and have exciting plans for the future to get other people with learning disabilities and autism in the local community, to be a part of the project too.”

Elaine, Matt and Fran are some of the driving force behind the partnership

Part of Dimensions, Outreach 3 Way is a Sussex charity that provides support for people with learning disabilities and autism in East and West Sussex.

With a strong presence in the community and with local businesses, the people Outreach 3 Way supports enjoy opportunities to connect with people in their local area and to learn new skills.

Find out more about Outreach 3 Way.