Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Guidance with finding work for my son

Hi , my name is Gillian I have 3 children . It's my youngest I am concerned about. Josh will be 18 in December , he was diagnosed with congenital cerybral palsy diplega at the age of 4 . As he has grown up more things have come to light . He suffers with terrible anxiety and depression, learning difficulties, dyslexia, hypo mobility, scoliosis . Josh would like to work , he dreams of working for Jd sports. I just don't know how to move forward with this . Josh has no friends , he will tell you he has lots but they are all on the Internet , he talks to them while play play station. He prefers it that way , he says people don't judge him that way .
I want more for my son and feel like we have hit a brick wall as regards help and support for both of us. Any suggestions or comments would be very welcom .

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Gillian,

    Is Josh currently in education?
  • Gillian CoatesGillian Coates Member Posts: 7
    No, he has never been able to cope with school. He did go on to do a course which again he couldn't cope with . We have a interview with the job centre today , I'm hoping they can help .
  • VickySVickyS Member Posts: 132 Listener
    Hi Gillian,
    Let me know how it went with the Job Centre! I'm always interested to see how much help they are actually giving disabled job seekers. Fingers crossed it all went well.
    Vicky xx
  • Gillian CoatesGillian Coates Member Posts: 7
    Hi Vicky , we did go along to the job centre . It did make me smile when he asked me to list Josh's disability and health problems , he ask me to stop and said "let's just leave at that for now" and cut me off so I couldn't continue . Anyway I have asked them to refer Josh to the Shaw trust (a local centre) and the Leonard Chesire charity. I will keep you posted how it goes. Xx
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Gillian,

    I'm really interested to follow your son's story and how he gets on with the jobseeking process. It will be good to hear first hand evidence of how the process works. I'm keen to find out if the system is working and whether the support talked about by the government is readily available and easy to implement. If there's any information you need about the benefits side of things please don't hesitate to get in touch. You're doing all the right things by asking to be referred on. Have you considered making a direct approach to JD Sports to see if they could organise some work experience for your son? Or is this something he would be able to do himself, with or without support?.................... Hopefully dreams can come true ;)

    Have a good weekend

  • jsh1988jsh1988 Member Posts: 2
    Hi Gillian,

    Is Whizz Kidz not able to assist in arranging a possible work placement?

    I've not benefited from the charity myself, but I've done little bits of voluntary work for them and they seem pretty good at helping young adults with disabilities get work placements?

    it might be worth giving them a shout.

    With the Job Center did josh get appointed a disability employment advisor?

    When I was made redundant just over a year ago, they offered training at a either a residential college or to attend on a daily basis with work placements on offer at the end of training. It might be worth asking about that aswell as going straight into some form of employment.

    All the best in the hunt
  • LibLib Member Posts: 13 Listener
    Hi Gillian

    My son is 19 and loking for voluntary work but is struggling to find anything. Would your son be more confident if he had someone supporting him in work, like a PA?

    My son is asking around himself, bless him, but hasn't had any luck so far :-(

    Keep trying, maybe go in to JD Sports yourself and ask?

    Lib
  • Gillian CoatesGillian Coates Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2015
    Hi Lib
    I wish my son had the confidence to do what your son is doing . Im sure he will find something soon .
    I'm going to contact JD sports today and see if they can help out .
    I hope your son is successful in finding something soon .

    Gillian :-)
  • JgeekJgeek Member Posts: 68
    Hey I have CP too, job hunting in a mine field at the best of times. In my experience the direct approach works best, think of things he could do and email companies, be open & describe the situation but highlight strengths too, show a real interest in who you write to and offer to work unpaid just to gain experience. Your local jobcentre should also have a disability adviser who may have information on special schemes etc
    Good luck :-)
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    I'm very interested in this conversation to. You mention your son doesn't have many friends and has anxiety and depression. One possible idea that may help with confidence and building relationships would be to explore if he can engage in some form of disability sport? What opportunities exist where you live? Sport is a great way to meet people, and any form physical exercise can do wonders to improve anxiety etc. What you are describing is certainly not uncommon with people that have CP. What exactly are the main reasons for him looking to work for JD Sports? I agree the Direct approach when searching for suitable employment, can really be effective, especially when one is passionate about working for a particular organisation. Don't wait for the perfect opportunity to be advertised. Would it be worth contacting Access to work and seeing what support is available if he was to be successful in landing his dream job? That way, he can include in his negotiations with a prospective employer what support will come with him to enable him to do his job. As I Understand it Access to work support is also available for work trials and interviews.

    Please let us know how this progresses.

    I'm convinced that there is something out there for everyone regardless of disability or impairment. Everyone has different gifts even if they find certain things very challenging. I'm sure your son will, with the right support have some great opportunities for the future, and will fulfil his dreams. He will find a way.

    You are doing the right thing by being resourceful and using the Scope online community to help you find the answers.

    I wish you and your son every possible success.

    Noah
  • HollyKHollyK Member Posts: 3
    Hi Gillian. Josh would possibly benefit from Supported Employment which is a person centred approach to fnding a job for people with complex disablities. A good Supported Employment agency will engage employers to carve roles specifically for your son to make this happen for him. To find one in your area you can look on the British Association for Supported Employment page http://www.base-uk.org/. You might also want to explore the possiblity of a Supported Internship. http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/what-we-do/supported-internships
  • Katie FraserKatie Fraser Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Gillian , Hope all went ok with Shaw Trust. I have used them myself to find supported employment and currently in a job myself as a support assistant in a hostel for people recovering from mental health. . Has he tried contacting your local JD Sports to see if they could offer some experience? He could write a letter to the manager and research on Google the manager's name, and that way he might be able to get some experience there , and volunteer. Voluntary work is a great tool for anyone to get some experience in a job before they may offer the individual paid employment if need be.

    I wonder if he has a CV at all ? Has Josh had previous work experience?
  • Noel_hastings21Noel_hastings21 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Many of the larger Supported Employment providers like Shaw Trust, A4E, Remploy etc ... run government funded programmes (often via DWP Jobcentreplus) e.g "The Work Programme". Consequently there are restrictions on the people that they can help - often this relies on entitlement to specific welfare benefits and/or residency in specific areas etc .. They may not have the freedom to work with everyone who approaches them, regardless of the urgency of need.
    The Access to Work programme is a funding body who support disabled people to find and/or to maintain employment. But they will not fund a general supported jobseeking regime; they will only fund support for one-off specific job applications. Perhaps approach one of the smaller specialist employment providers such as ASMentoring Ltd (www.asmentoring.co.uk) as they may have more freedom within which to operate.
    Proactively contacting a potential employer such as JD Sports on your son's behalf is definitely the right strategy to adopt - but may be something that a supported employment provider can do more effectively than a family member; because they should be able to draw on their experience of best practice, ideally in the target industry or sector and may also be more confident to request 'reasonable adjustments' to the recruitment process and in the job role itself - as per the Equality Act 2010 - again from their experience of similar situations.
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