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Lincolnshire disabled charity encourages employers to take on workers with learning difficulties

By Boston Target  |  Posted: April 02, 2013

  • Linkage service users Claire Crossland and Graham Clark, have become the latest members of staff at Specsavers in Skegness.

  • Claire Crossland

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A CHARITY is urging more employers to take learning disabled people on to their workforce.

Linkage Community Trust is a national charity with its roots in the East Lindsey area and employs more than 700 people from across both Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Linkage, which operates a specialist further education college, care and employment services, says businesses are missing out on an opportunity to recruit individuals who are keen to work but are often the furthest removed from the labour market.

The organisation has published a brochure to explain about its Employment Services, which shows the charity has worked with some well-known names including WH Smith, Tesco and the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society. It is an opportunity to fill vacancies for free and provide on-going support for both employee and employer, for as long as necessary.

Two Linkage service users have become the latest members of staff at Specsavers opticians in Skegness. Claire Crossland from Mablethorpe and Graham Clark, who lives in Spilsby, successfully came through work trials at the Lumley Road branch. They are job-sharing a cleaning role with Claire doing Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Graham on duty on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Head of employment services at Linkage, James Bird said: "Our staff worked closely with Specsavers to make sure that Graham and Claire knew what was expected of them.

"We've found paid work in areas such as retail, hospitality, horticulture and grounds maintenance to name a few, but we always need more."

The charity has been boosted by a partnership with the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society in 2013. The retailer has provided food safety training for 16 Linkage service users and they all passed their Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Level 1 Award in Food Safety Awareness.

A number of vacancies at Manor Care Nursing Home in East Kirkby have been filled through Linkage.

Manager Kay Harrison, said: "Matching jobs to skills is important. The Linkage service users are great, freeing up our staff to do other crucial tasks. The relationship meets our needs and we have plenty of different tasks for them to take on."

For further information on Linkage Employment Services, call 01522 507217, email employment@linkage.org.uk or download the brochure from www.linkage.org.uk/employment

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