Equip supports individuals through all stages of education and combines this with community skills, development and work experience to enable the member to achieve their full potential.

Issues experienced: Many young people who have a learning disability and/or autism will struggle in education, be this falling behind with academic work, having difficulties with peer relationships, or their unique learning style not being catered for. Often teachers don’t have the time or resources to give these young people the extra support that they need.

How we address this: The Equip programme works in partnership with local colleges to ensure that young people with a learning disability and/or autism are keeping up to speed with the curriculum and learning vital life skills. Equip also gives individuals a safe space to join in, socialise and form friendships. As part of this programme members can take part in activities like arts and crafts and creative media sessions, as well as other new interests. There’s also the chance for members to undertake a work experience placement, such as horticultural work at the Green Dragon Eco Farm, or retail work at Sainsbury’s. Here our members learn the skills required for working life and build the foundations for finding paid work in the future.

The Equip Programme provides individual learning packages based on a student’s EHCP Outcomes. Through the transitions process discussions are held with the student, family and other professionals. An individual programme is created for each learner, encompassing educational (college), vocational (work experience) and social learning (social groups/opportunities).

Individuals will be given support and guidance to access a work experience provision of their choice and develop employability skills.

Students are encouraged to work together and share skills.Team building activities are included in the provision to help develop relationships and friendships. This has led to students meeting in their own social time.

Students are given opportunities to be involved in the local Learning Disability Partnership Board, where they are encouraged to give their views on services/matters that affect them.

Staff from the Engage Project frequently visit Equip Groups to give information on changes in services for young people in the local area, which may affect students.

To develop opportunities for Equip students to have access to activities for their mental and emotional wellbeing.

The Equip Programme has creative opportunities in the form of Expressive Arts, Creative Media and a variety of social groups. The programme also offers a range of learning experiences in order to prepare young people for adult life.

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