On Thursday 13th June 2019, ELITE staff members travelled to London for the annual ERSA Employability Awards held at the Royal College Of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. With hundreds in attendance and over 150 nominations put forward, ELITE came away from the event with the Team Of The Year Award.

Our staff members Sara Johnston, Michael Stephenson, Bev Davies and Tracey Willetts all from our Engage to Change project travelled to the event in Marylebone hoping to come home with the prestigious award. Alongside fellow nominees, RNIB, the two London Boroughs of Newham and Brent, Reed In Partnership and Qube Learning, any one of the nominees would have been worthy and deserving winners but it was ELITE’s Engage to Change team who came away with the glass trophy. Sara Johnston, one of the Team Leaders on the project, had the following to say:

“I’ve been working on the Engage to Change project since its inception back in 2015, initially as an Employment Advisor before making the jump-up to Team Leader. In this time, I have seen how this project has positively impacted so many people! Everyone on the Engage to Change project really goes beyond the call of duty to help these amazing young people into work and it’s fantastic to see them get recognition from an organisation like ERSA. I can’t wait to hang up our award in the office and I’m sure this lovely glass trophy will make a welcome addition to the team!”

Engage to Change is a collaborative project between ELITE Supported Employment, Learning Disability Wales, All Wales People First and Agoriad Cyf, aims to enable 1,000 young adults with learning disabilities and/or ASD into work through bespoke one-to-one job support. The project, which is coming into its fourth year, has seen some great successes across Wales with many people under the age of 25 gaining employment in a variety of industries and sectors. Each of the jobseekers is offered one-to-one assessments, training, mentoring and support from ELITE’s dedicated and talented team of Employment Advisors. It is here where the project comes to life as the team tailor-make bespoke recruitment plans for each young people considering their disabilities, capabilities, location and, most importantly, what they want to do for a living! The project relies on a withdrawal method allowing each jobseeker to obtain independence in their working lives… whether it takes 6 days or 6 months, the withdrawal process is tailored to each person’s needs.

From everyone at ELITE Supported Employment, we would like to thank everyone who played a part in this award. A full list of the winners can be found below: