Partnership success in Rochdale and Tameside

A partnership in Rochdale and Tameside which helps people with learning disabilities and mental health needs find voluntary work is being hailed a success.

Eighteen months ago, we commissioned Pure Innovations to work closely with a number of people we support within the Rochdale and Tameside areas, to enable them to access education, training and work opportunities.

Carol Toner, community services director for Rochdale and head of learning and development at Alternative Futures Group said:

“The partnership has been a great success. All the people involved have developed extremely valuable life skills and several have found voluntary employment.

“It has also allowed AFG to make stronger links with the community and local businesses which we intend to develop further.

The partnership, which began in April 2013; has seen 10 people supported by Alternative Futures Group in Rochdale and 5 in Tameside, complete and in many cases continue, supported employment placements. Each of the people involved were supported by an employment officer from Pure Innovations who worked with them to make their career aspirations a reality.

Georgina supported in Rochdale said:

“Pure Innovations helped me find my job at the bookstall at Rochdale Infirmary. We sell books for 50p each. I like doing it; I like setting books on the table and meeting people.”

Pure Innovations sourced the opportunity and supported Georgina who has now volunteered at the book stall for more than a year.

Both organisations worked with local businesses and organisations to support each individual to complete work skills training, ensuring they had the skills necessary for the role.

Alternative Futures Group team leader Marie Brennan said:

“The volunteering placement has really helped Georgina to develop important skills. She has come on leaps and bounds in confidence and has become much more socialable. She now runs all aspects of the stall with minimal support.”

Carol Toner added:

“Georgina has grown in confidence and proved she can hold down important responsibilities and make a great contribution to her local community. She is testament to all that is good about adult social work, a true story of great success.

“With Pure Innovations, Georgina has flourished and learnt skills that will serve her well in life.”

Jo Chilton, community services director for Tameside said:

“We’re delighted that we can continue this partnership. Pure Innovations helped us to achieve some fantastic outcomes in Rochdale and it’s fantastic that we can now offer this to the young adults we support in Tameside.”