Springfield give access to young adults with learning disabilities through innovative technology
Seacroft Grange joins forces with Access Hospitality C.I.C. to provide long-term employment opportunities. According to Mencap*, just 6.3 per cent of people living with learning disabilities in Yorkshire are employed.
A care home in Leeds is first in its sector to team up with Access Hospitality C.I.C. to provide full-time, paid employment to young adults in Yorkshire living with learning disabilities.
Seacroft Grange, a 95-bed care home in Seacroft, Leeds, has been working closely with Access Hospitality C.I.C., a Yorkshire-based not-for-profit social enterprise, which works with adults with learning difficulties to secure long-term job roles supported by an innovative piece of technology.
22-year-old Megna, who was recruited by Seacroft Grange in October 2022 has autism and learning difficulties. She was hired as a Bistro Assistant and works at the home’s on-site Bistro five days a week from 10am-2pm.
Megna said, “I am pleased to be working in the Bistro at Seacroft Grange. Every day is different and I have learned lots of new skills.
“I was a bit shy at first, but now I really enjoy talking to the residents and staff and making Barista coffees for everyone.”
Access Hospitality C.I.C. launched in 2018 with a mission to help young adults in the region find fulfilling job roles in hospitality and retail, which are mutually beneficial to both the employer and employee.
The social enterprise has designed and created a piece of Assistive Technology which Megna has full use of. Megna uses the Assistive tech at work to help her with managing and fulfilling tasks by giving clear, controlled and direct instructions via a smart watch, or tablet.
The same piece of tech also allows visitors, residents and staff to order drinks. The Assistive tech allows her to fulfil her role taking orders and serving residents at the Bistro independently and with confidence.
Megna has been in her role for five months and the use of the technology has given her the ability to commit to, and fully enjoy her role within the home.
Care home manager, Eve Moran said, “Megna is a fantastic addition to the home – she’s got a wonderful work ethic and the staff and residents have all really warmed to her.
“With a national shortage of hospitality staff within the care sector, we really struggled to fill Megna’s position and without her and the help of Access Hospitality C.I.C. we would not be able to open our Bistro – the social hub of the home where many residents visit for a Barista-style coffee or hot chocolate.
“Working closely with Access Hospitality C.I.C. on placing Megna in this role has been a great experience. The team are caring and compassionate, provide the hands-on support and then let the assistive technology guide Megna and help her fulfill her daily tasks.”
Speaking on behalf of Access Hospitality C.I.C. CEO Nigel Cork said, “Our aim is to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship is formed between the young adults we work with and their future employers.
“When Megna joined Seacroft Grange she was assigned a Job Coach from our team, who checked in on her regularly. However, thanks to the assistive technology, Megna is thriving in her role and is working independently and with confidence with support from her smart watch.
“The technology is tailored to the needs of individuals. For example, for someone who may freeze up if overwhelmed, the smart watch can be programmed to play a pre-recorded video message from a loved one known to be able to relax and offer comfort and support at the touch of a button.
“I have been greatly impressed with the attitude of the team at Seacroft Grange and the wider Springfield Healthcare Group to employing people with learning disabilities and autism, it flows throughout whole organisation – they really get it!”
Seacroft Grange is one of seven care homes within Springfield Healthcare group. Due to the success of the first full-time placement, Springfield Healthcare is looking to continue its relationship with Access Hospitality C.I.C. and adopt this technology and recruitment style within its portfolio of homes across the region.
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