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Changes to Bridge’s supported employment service for adults with learning disabilities

The Board of Bridge Employment has taken the decision that for the foreseeable future Bridge will no longer be delivering a supported employment service to adults with learning disabilities unless they are in a position to fund the service themselves either through a personal budget or self funding. This includes the initial Information Advice and Guidance diagnostic session that determines whether the Bridge service is appropriate for them. Clients with learning disabilities who are already receiving a service from Bridge are not immediately affected by this decision – they will continue to receive a service from us.

This was not an easy decision for the Board to make, but it felt it had no option in the light of Sheffield City Council’s decision to no longer fund our service for adults with learning disabilities from 1st April 2014. However we would like to reassure you that both the Bridge Employment Board and the organisation as a whole remains committed to the overall aim of supporting adults with learning disabilities into work, and the recommencement of its learning disability service in the future should the circumstances be appropriate. To this end the Board is planning to review its decision in December 2014.

We would like to reassure you that no other parts of our service are affected by this decision, and our service for all other adults with disabilities, including mental health conditions, is continuing as normal. Please call 0114 2333326 to enquire about our service or make a referral.

You may have a learning disability and be interested in looking for work but do not have the means to pay for the Bridge service yourself, or you may be supporting an individual with a learning disability interested in looking for work but who does not have the means to pay for the Bridge service themselves. In either case please contact your or their Jobcentre Plus Advisor for advice as to how to proceed. If you are able to pay for, or are supporting someone who can pay for, a service from Bridge please do not hesitate to contact us on 0114 2333326 to discuss how we may be able to help and the type of employment support packages on offer.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on (0114) 2333326 if you would like to discuss any aspect of this post. Any member of the staff team will be able to assist you.

Attention All Social Workers, Support Planners and those in receipt of Personal Budgets

Attention all Social Workers, Support Planners and Potential service users who receive SDS (Personal Budgets)

Bridge has recently reduced its service costs, for those clients with personal budgets.

Our hourly rate of support is now £25

In addition to this we have re packaged our suite of support, so that potential service users, carers, social workers and support planners can access an initial engagement service for a one off payment that does not commit the service user to identifying longer term funding.

For a payment of £375 the service user will receive the following provision:

  • Information Advice and Guidance: to explore client aspirations and to action plan a route map of work related goals
  • Vocational Profiling: more detailed exploration with a view to establishing a programme of support to enhance job preparedness and job searching targets
  • CV development and production
  • Welfare benefits advice linkage: the brokerage of support to maximise entitlements whilst looking for work and to provide better off calculations to direct future job searching activities

While this package can stand alone and potentially be transported into other areas of employment related or care/ support provision we hope it will be used to inform future work with Bridge Employment