SES smash national target

Optalis’ Supported Employment Service (SES) received brilliant news last week when they learned that they had exceeded the national target for getting people with a learning disability, aged between 16 and 64, into paid employment.

The measure, included in Wokingham Borough Council’s performance indicator report, shows the proportion of all adults with a learning disability who are known to the council, who are recorded as being in paid employment. SES had beaten the national target of 7.2% by 5.6%, achieving a result of 12.8%.

Service manager Katrina Reeves said: ”I am delighted that we’ve been able to achieve this – it’s testament to the continuing hard work and applied experience of our team of staff here in the service. And, despite the tough economic conditions, we’re finding that some employers in the area are still willing and able to offer paid employment, which we’re really thankful for.

“In return, we not only support the client, but also employers who work in partnership with us.”

One of the employers working closely with SES is Berkshire Rooms. The company provides serviced accommodation for long term and short term stays.

Director of Berkshire Rooms, Don James, said: “In 2005, Berkshire Rooms took a momentous decision to employ adults with learning disabilities and has never looked back. In fact, the policy has been so successful that we are currently employing four adults and we still have three of our original employees from 2005.

“All of these employees are supported by one of Optalis’ job coaches, and we have very good relationship with them. Optalis personnel have proven to be excellent advocates for the employees, whilst at the same time understanding the needs of the employer. We feel that they too are part of our team. Long may this successful partnership continue.”

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Suffolk Lodge residents bake away!

Residents from Suffolk Lodge made and baked lemon tarts for their morning coffees this week. It's one of the regular activities they take part in at the care home, with the assistance of staff.