Breaking down disabled barriers

PUBLISHED: 12:44 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

WHILST unemployment rates are low in Cambridgeshire, people with mental health problems make up 82 per cent of those out of work. In the UK as a whole more than half of the disabled are unemployed. Swaffham Bulbeck-based charity, Red2Green, launched a new

WHILST unemployment rates are low in Cambridgeshire, people with mental health problems make up 82 per cent of those out of work.

In the UK as a whole more than half of the disabled are unemployed.

Swaffham Bulbeck-based charity, Red2Green, launched a new service recently, which is designed to lift disabled people out of the benefit trap and bolster their self-esteem.

Staff were on-hand at Cambridge's Grafton Centre to offer information and advice about the new service, called Advance.

Project manager, Heather Taplin, said: "People with mental problems and disabilities are a hugely untapped resource in the county and employers are really missing out.

"For so many people, the barriers to finding work or volunteering can seem almost insurmountable. They've either had bad experiences in the past with employers only seeing their disabilities rather than their skills, or they don't have the self esteem to realise that they can aspire to and hold down employment.

"Whether people want quick help or support for a year, we will be able to offer individual training to develop work skills, write CVs and be successful at interviews. We can also give people work and volunteering placement experiences as well as work tasters. At every stage we support not only the trainees but their potential employers as well."

Red2Green runs projects across Cambridgeshire providing leisure, education and work opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities including mental health problems, sensory impairments, physical disabilities and social communication disorders.

INFO: anyone interested in finding out more should contact Advance manager Heather Taplin or Red2Green deputy director Samantha Sherratt on 01223 811662.

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