Crossing borders

Having to overcome the social stigmas and mental challenges of having no job is a huge challenge but combining that with a disability must feel like taking on Everest. Throughout our incredible journey on the Positive People project, one of our key focus points has been on the ‘soft outcome’ – where our aims are to allow individuals afflicted with conditions outside of their own making improve their lives, even just by a little bit, and maybe give them the impetus to take further steps in the future.

On the project we’ve been very lucky and very proud to work with a great deal of different organisations who have seen the amazing prospect of what the social and digital trainer we offer can deliver. Over the last 6 months we have worked closely with the Stroke Association – a chance meeting at an event in Barnstaple filtered a few participants our way, and we’ve been able to provide them with bespoke equipment that has made small, but crucial differences to their daily tasks.

Where we take our memories for granted, a stroke survivor might rely on a tablet or phone to create and maintain constant to-do lists. Where our bodies let us take themselves to the shop, a stroke survivor might rely on a laptop to schedule and complete a food shop. And where written communication has become a problem, a stroke survivor might find interfacing with the outside world via digital voice recognition, such as a Google Home or Amazon Alexa, more rewarding and useful.

We’ve also done a lot of work in supported living environments too. Together with Madewell Farm, we’ve supported learners with a range of neuro-diverse conditions to become safer online through workshops and active hands-on experimentation. We respect and understand that not every person learns the same way, and this is particularly true of those with mental health conditions where a different approach and understanding is required to get the best from them.

As trainers on the ground, we value the ‘soft outcome’ as much as we do getting people back into work. Participants in these positions would prefer to be active and not let their conditions hold them back. Our work tries to enable them to pick up where they left off, in a world no longer built for them.

We look forward to working with many, many more partners such as the Stroke Association and Madewell Farm. If you work for an support organisation and think our offering might help, please get in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you