Work… it’s one of those things that we often don’t really feel like doing. I am a Community Nurse and I often don’t feel like going to work but once I am out there visiting patients I am fine, I enjoy my job. I have been a nurse for over 25 years and it is part of my identity and who I am.
Freud said ‘Love and work… work and love, that’s all there is.’ And ‘Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.’
Imagine if you never got the chance to work, there was never going to be a job for you.
This is the case for many adults who have learning disabilities. In 2015 just 6% of adults who have learning disabilities were in paid employment.
Many people who have LD are very capable of work and would enjoy a job.
Having a learning disability means you are marginalised by society. Despite it being 2018 the world is still not inclusive.
When you think about jobs, the majority will have a social aspect to them. You are part of a team and you are valued by the rest of the team. This helps our self esteem, we all like to feel useful and appreciated. A job helps prevent social isolation. In turn ( I do hear some of you saying your job is really bad for your stress levels, I promise!) this helps our mental health and boosts our feelings of self worth. All very important for over all wellbeing.
Despite Zach being non verbal, having autism and complex needs he could work with the right support.
A few weeks ago we decided that the exercise equipment we had at thezachproject was no longer needed, he regularly goes to the local gym which is far better for him than using the equipment on his own. We gave the equipment away and were left with an empty room.
I had a few thoughts about what we could do with the room but none of them were very inspirational. I asked the Beam team if they had any ideas.
Cormac Duffy who is the operations manager came back to me with the idea of a Social Enterprise so that Zach had the opportunity to contribute to the world of work and once set up we could get other young people involved.
To say I was excited is an under statement, poor Cormac had to spend an hour in the car with me rambling on about what we might do. I then sent a mass of texts with what were probably pretty useless ideas! I was buzzing.
I spoke to a friends and family asking if they had any ideas and began to piece together what seemed like a plan which has a great USP!
We now have the idea for Zach’s social enterprise, it is something which he can be totally involved in and will enjoy doing. It will play to his strengths and abilities.
You may wonder what Zach will gain from having a job. His life at the moment looks quite busy with learning life skills, leisure activities and pub lunches however we are all entitled to dignity and dignity comes with work, being included and contributing to the working world.
We have much work to be done before the project is ready to roll, business plans, decisions about what the product will look like and where we will sell it but we are already planning and on the journey.
We need a start up fund and if you feel able to contribute we would be very grateful indeed. We want our product to be as good as any out there, if not better! We need a fund to achieve this.
Please follow the link if you feel inspired to contribute 🙂
JUSTGIVING.COM and search Rachel Saysell
Thank you xxx