Better Lives Partnership

What is the Better Lives Partnership? (BLP):
Our aim is to deliver a range of opportunities for children and young people with ASD and related disabilities as well as their families, carers and the practitioners who support them.

What is the Bridge to Employment? (B2E):
At B2E we give young people with ASD a structured programme of person-centred accredited training in their area of interest and expertise, work related skills and to prepare them for the next step towards employment, self-employment, education, training or volunteering.

What is the B2E Programme?:
The B2E Programme offers young people 3 inter-linked strands. These are delivered together in a person-centred way to give them the best opportunity for transition.

The young people on the B2E programme follow a certificated employability and life skills programme of study leading to nationally recognised qualifications.

Course Programme:
Consists of sessions covering –
• Employability
• Independent Tasks
• Enterprise
• ASDAN course
• Work experience

We can include other personalised units such as additional ASDAN qualifications, gardening, environment, conservation, creative arts.

What we provide in terms of skills and expertise:
The greatest impact for the young person is on a social level.
• They will feel able to take a more pro-active role within their community
• They will feel more confident, independent and able to cope socially
• They will develop employability skills and may find employment
• They will become more economically independent because of B2E
• They will be able to contribute to the economic development of the region.
• They will feel empowered and more accepted within their community as the programme has been found to reduce stigma and it raises awareness of the potential of young people with ASD.

In September 2017 we started our pilot project with 5 young people. Now over a year on and with our pilot complete we have 17 young people on the programme – comprising full -time, part-time and some who attend as part of an alternative timetable from their school. Successful outcomes have been achieved for many of our original young people with some of them doing voluntary work placements, one has returned to College while still attending his work experience at the Bridge Wellness Centre in Dalbeattie and another has secured a Modern Apprenticeship – working at the Selkirk Arms Hotel, Kirkcudbright and training to be a Chef. We have engaged with many people through awareness raising events, enterprise events and most recently networking at the Children in Scotland Annual Conference in Edinburgh.

Plans are in place to open a locality model of the B2E Programme in Annandale by summer 2019 with a further expansion into Wigtownshire to follow after that. These models will cater for approximately 12 young people.

How do you apply?
• You can be referred or you can self-refer to B2E
• Referrals often come through education or social work or parents and carers
• On enquiry you will be sent a Referral/Application Form which you would then complete and return.
• We will meet with you to discuss the way forward, identify interests, needs etc.

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