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Ideal for All

Community Learning Award

Ideal for All is a pioneering disabled people’s charity based in Sandwell. Their recent ‘Stand Out’ project, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, has supported 77 young disabled adults to access specialist support, training, volunteering and employment opportunities during and after the Commonwealth Games.

Ideal for All support disabled people and young adults not in education, employment or training (NEET) to develop skills for the workplace and secure meaningful employment. They provide a wide range of training and support, including health and mental wellbeing to boost self-esteem, resilience and confidence. Participants can also get involved in outdoors activities in the local community, in one of three purpose built therapeutic garden sites in the area.

Of those who took part in the 'Stand Out' project, 26% got a job, 30% went on to a volunteering role.

Alistair was one of the participants on the project. "I was demotivated and out of work, not knowing what was out there for someone like me. But working outdoors with the community was fantastic. Learning practical skills and working alongside people with disabilities was mind-blowing. With foundation-level training, I worked my way up to a full-time paid health and wellbeing officer role. Thanks to everyone here, I have gained practical skills and grown as a person. It's the people that make this place."

Meganne, another participant who contributed over 550 hours of volunteering in the community said: "When I come here, I feel more in control. I can do things and make a difference to myself and others. I feel like I am moving forwards and not stuck anymore. We make things, cook and enjoy the space. I feel free again."

Callum added: "I have Autism and think differently to other people. I really enjoy coming here. It helped me gain confidence. I want to keep volunteering and I will do my paid job too. Everybody should come and do this to feel good and help others."

Emelye Westwood, Head of Operations at Ideal for All said: "We know from experience that young people need specific help to transition into work. We support them through wide ranging 'wrap around' support. Our point of difference - core specialist employability functions are reinforced through 'holistic' growing opportunities delivered from our three purpose-built garden sites."