Linkage Community Trust
Posted: 12th July 2018

The Linkage Community Trust has been awarded a grant of £61,000 to help people with learning disabilities to get into work.

This project is a joint initiative between Linkage Community Trust and The University of Lincoln’s Autism Research Innovation Centre. It will create an online support tool that is expected to help hundreds of people develop Individualised Career Action Plans.

Helping people with learning disabilities to gain independence

Over the past 40 years, Linkage has been committed to supporting people with learning disabilities or autism to develop their independence. Although much progress has been made in many areas such as social integration, independent living and education, access to employment remains a huge challenge. Linkage sees employment as a key to independence and a major contributor to health and well-being.

Rex Richardson, Director of Care Services at Linkage said: “Getting people with autism and/or learning disabilities into employment can be complex and challenging. To do it successfully requires a planned and personalised approach, with all partners working together to achieve an identified and shared goal.

“Research shows that the benefits of employment for people with autism or learning disabilities can be immense; improving independence, well-being, reducing isolation and promoting better mental health.”

Improving employment figures

It is estimated that there are around 7,500 individuals with autism in Lincolnshire. Data on employment figures for people with autism in Lincolnshire is limited, but national figures suggest only 15 per cent of adults with an autistic spectrum condition are in full time employment. (Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment).

Lincolnshire Freemasons visit Linkage Community Trust

Mr Richardson said:

“We’re very grateful to Lincolnshire Freemasons for their generous support; this will allow us to help people with learning difficulties get into work. This project is about bringing together organisations who share our commitment with the University of Lincoln to develop tailored career development plans which are holistic, comprehensive and efficient, which can identify their strengths and support them and employers in enabling disabled individuals to gain employment and to make an important contribution to the workforce. It’s a disgrace that only around 15 per cent of adults with an autistic spectrum condition are in full time employment.”

Lincolnshire Freemason, Graham Ives said:

“We’re very pleased to be able to help the Linkage Community Trust; they are doing outstanding work supporting people with learning disabilities find employment. This will provide enormous benefits to job seekers, as well as local employers who obtain loyal and productive employees.