Timesavers was set up in September 2010 by a group of West Lancashire parents/carers who were concerned about the lack of paid jobs or work experience placements for adults with learning disabilities living in the area. Less than 6% of this group are in full or part-time employment. The majority of the charity’s trustees have a child with a learning disability and so are aware of the needs of our beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries themselves have been involved in developing this project through regular meetings and feedback gathered from them, their families/carers (who are also beneficiaries of the project) and support staff. Our beneficiaries and their families tell us what does and does not work for them and we adapt our service accordingly to meet the needs of each individual.
One of the main barriers that people with learning disabilities tell us they experience when trying to access employment is that their requirement for extra assistance, such as repeating tasks or working at a slightly slower pace, is not taken into account by employers. These changes would make it easier for them to acquire new skills without feeling under pressure or stress. To help remove this barrier to learning, the work experience and skills training we offer is provided in a supportive environment.
Our partner organisations, such as Lancashire County Council Learning Disability Team, Lancashire County Council Employment Support Service, Linkability and West Lancashire CVS, also tell us that there is a lack of facilities locally for adults with learning disabilities to access training in Office Skills and Work Experience. Less than 6% of this group are in full or part-time employment.
We provide training in computing, photocopying, printing and shredding; together with filing and typing. We have developed the project to include Computer Skills Training, particularly around the use of Microsoft Word, and Publisher Programs together with Hallmark Card Making Program.
Our beneficiaries also tell us that the poor public transport provided locally is an issue for them. For this reason we provide transport to and from our project. Timesavers arrange for a qualified sessional support worker to collect the beneficiary from their home, support them whilst they are at our office or work experience placement and transport them home after their training/work experience. This also enables beneficiaries to meet others from different parts of West Lancashire and for friendships to be developed. Our beneficiaries tell us that this social aspect of the project is especially important to them. We know from our beneficiaries that, were it not for our placements, they would be less active and have lower levels of physical and mental wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem. They tell us that getting into a routine of going to a work placement on a regular basis helps to improve all of these areas.
Placing beneficiaries with local employers also affords the employer and their employees the opportunity to work with a more diverse range of people.
In order to improve the social aspect of our project we also include some social activities to help develop the friendships they have made on the project and this improves their ability to integrate and socialise.
As part of the project involves meeting general public and socialising when delivering cards, taking requests for cards and buying items for Timesavers e.g. Inks and card will also add to their own self worth within the community.
Parents/carers of people we support tell us that the project provides them with a short respite break from their caring responsibilities, which improves their health and wellbeing and makes them more able to carry out their caring responsibilities once they resume.
They also acknowledge the difference that Timesavers has made to the life of their child.
Helen, one of the clients at Timesavers works for us at JW Homecare head office on a weekly basis. She helps with the day to day administrative tasks such as shredding, post, filing. We appreciate all of the work that Timesavers do, helping adults with learning difficulties into real life working environment. Helen has settled in really well & we love having her working with us.
The clients at Timesavers have provided VB Fashion with a fully stocked stand of beautifully crafted cards to sell on behalf of the charity in our shop. They are certainly a hit with our customers! What the charity is doing for the local community is fantastic and we are proud to support them.
We were on the lookout for a new employee to start work within our admin team. Timesavers Charity was recommended to us by Matt at MTG Digital. We are always up for supporting local charities and have been able to offer employment to Vicky to work with the team here at Britannia Fleet Removals. Vicky has been a delight to work with and we have seen a massive boost in her confidence! Thanks MTG Digital & Timesavers for helping us build on our team!