Charity boosting job prospects for adults

Stephen Lloyd MP visted Chalk Farm Nursery and Hotel in Willingdon where he met the trainees and staff and saw the work they are doing. September 23rd 2013 E39066P
Stephen Lloyd MP visted Chalk Farm Nursery and Hotel in Willingdon where he met the trainees and staff and saw the work they are doing. September 23rd 2013 E39066P
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A charity which supports adults with learning disabilities is looking at improving job opportunities for its students.

Chalk Farm Learning Disabilities Centre (LDC) is based in Willingdon and began back in 1994 when parents with children with learning disabilities had joined together and began using the facilities at the hotel in Coopers Hill, which boasts a nursery.

Since then the charity has grown and today can take up to 50 adults a week. It provides them with training and work experience to help them develop their skills and gain employment.

Lisa Smart, who is director of the charity Mustard Seed, became a trustee of Chalk Farm LDC earlier this year and is looking at ways to boost the fundraising side of things, and is also looking forward to working on a new venture to provide further support for the students.

The 46-year-old said, “We are in the process of setting up a new position within the charity to allow students to have work placements within the local community where a job buddy will support them. We want to set up a network for potential employers so that everybody is supported.”

The idea is to allow the students to gain more skills to find a job in the community and then the centre can prepare them for going to an interview and how to write a CV. All the staff at the centre are qualified trainers and assessors.

Jonathan Page had been a student there for several years and went on to secure a job as a kitchen supervisor at the hotel. He said, “It’s supported me very well. If you need support the management are always there for you.”

A fundraiser is taking place on November 13 at Pasha restaurant in Eastbourne in aid of the charity. Tickets are £25 and include a sit down meal and entertainment. To buy a ticket call 07702 472053 or email: lisa smart213@aol.com. To watch a video about the charity, go to the Herald website.