The Surrey Supported Employment Fund supports people with disabilities or mental ill health to overcome barriers to work, contributing towards the social and economic well-being of our area.
Grants have supported individuals to obtain or renew necessary accreditation and memberships of recognised professional bodies, to undertake specific work related training, to purchase work equipment or meet other set-up costs for individuals becoming self-employed, and to purchase suitable clothing and to meet travel costs where this was a barrier to individuals accessing interviews, work placements and employment.
From August 2019 awards from the Surrey Supported Employment Fund will be provided through 4 specialist organisations working to help people into employment
- ESRA – Employment Support Retraining Agency – Learning and work opportunities for individuals with mental health issues.
- Oakleaf Enterprise – Support for adults with mental and physical difficulties in finding and securing work.
- Surrey Choices Employability – Support for young people and adults with a range of issues in their employment journey.
- Surrey Young People’s Fund – Support for young adults with mental or physical health conditions to move towards work.
Individuals seeking support are advised to contact the most appropriate group directly – if you are encountering difficulties please call the Community Foundation for Surrey.
Grants are usually just a few hundred pounds, but these small amounts can be life changing. Examples include the following:
Give a man a bike… and a small grant can go a long way!
Funding of £79 enabled an individual with a learning disability to purchase a bicycle to travel to and from work each day for the early morning start, otherwise impossible due to a lack of suitable public transport. The grant not only helped this individual to attend an initial employment placement, but this small amount has had a lasting impact by giving him the confidence and experience to secure and sustain a substantive job afterwards. Referee and Employment Support Officer at EmployAbility, Carolyn Tucker noted:
“Thank you to everyone who approved this grant, he really does appreciate everything you have done to help him keep his job which he is really enjoying.”
Supporting travel costs
A grant of £336 supported the costs of taxi journeys for an individual who is registered blind and also has a mild learning disability to attend employment. The grantee stressed:
“Without this funding I would have lost my job.”
Other individual recipients of grants from the SSE Fund have commented:
“The money was of great help, significantly reducing the stress levels.”
“I have found it so difficult to get anywhere before, so your funding has greatly helped me to achieve something I would never have been able to fund myself… I really appreciate it, many thanks.”