Local voluntary organisation Access To Training And Employment will hold their Annual General Meeting next Friday. Co-chair Jonathan Russell tells Voice readers more about the event and the project which aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities.
The group’s AGM will take place at 2.30pm on 27th July, at the Hamilton School on Queens Road. Guest speaker Dave Simmers, chief executive of Community Food Initiatives, North East, will present a talk on social enterprises. There will also be talks on Crafty Things, Café Cairncry, and Neat Ideas, led by office bearers of these projects
Access to Training and Employment became a voluntary organisation in 1998 and its prime objective is to promote and support people with disabilities in the Aberdeen area in training and employment.
Access to Training and Employment is a user led organisation with the majority of people on its management committee having a learning and/or physical disability.
Acting on needs identified by the membership, Access to Training and Employment became the lead organisation in developing a number of exciting and innovative projects.
In 2009 we considerably downsized due to cutbacks and the ending of partnerships with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen College.
THE PRESENT AND FUTURE
Over the past year we have developed a particularly constructive partnership with private sector organisation AMEC, which will help us in having a more secure base on which to build.
We are presently running the following three projects:
- CRAFTY THINGS
This is a joint venture between people with disabilities and volunteers, supported by qualified, experienced craft support workers, which is presently based at the Rubislaw Church centre. Sewing skills are developed to a high standard and it gives participants a real work experience.
We produce high quality Tartan and Harris Tweed goods for sale in a variety of settings. The signature product is our Scottie dog cushion which has proved very popular with the international community of Aberdeen.
We also produce a variety of Tartan and Tweed bags, all unique and very special products. We are also moving into producing corsages and bow-ties.
- CAFE CAIRNCRY
Café Cairncry operates on Mondays in Cairncry Community Centre, serving a healthy lunch for some 20 to 25 senior citizens and other local people who either attend activities at the centre, or just go along for a companionable meal.
Four young adults with learning disabilities prepare and serve the meals, under the supervision of two paid support staff. They learn about health and safety issues relating to catering and are involved in all aspects of running the Café, which provides practical experience and scope for skills development, confidence building and varied social interaction.
The Café is a popular project with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is much valued by the local community and, at times, the customers range in age from 4 to 80. The project also provides training designed to enable young people with disabilities to move on to work in less ‘sheltered’ environments.
- NEAT IDEAS
This project has started over the past year and aims at making a variety of specialised cards, both by hand and by the use of computers, which we will endeavour to sell at premises used by AMEC. Individual skills have been identified and progressed and we have an excellent team of volunteers and trainees.
The project is based at Reach Out and we usually meet fortnightly at the Info Hub at Aberdeen Market
The Access To Training And Employment AGM is being held at Hamilton School, 55-57 Queens Road, Aberdeen, between 2.30pm and 4.00pm, on Friday 27th July, 2012.
Access To Training And Employment (Sco28228) – Patron Dame Anne Begg MP
Contact Jonathan Russell, Co-chair, on 01224 586435, or 07582 456233 and leave a telephone number, name and message.
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