Case study - Support for young people with a physical disability

woodwork benchC&K Careers regularly works with disabled young people.

Background:

LG is a young person with a congenital heart condition in resourced provision for students with physical difficulties, LG:

  • Cannot walk far without getting out of breath.
  • Takes medication on a daily basis to help alleviate his symptoms.
  • Did a shorter school day.
  • Missed a lot of school during Y10 and Y11 whilst in hospital, the resulting treatment meant he had to do certain tasks at a slower pace.
  • Expected grades were likely to be below his academic, practical and vocational abilities.
  • Developed a range of skills working in his father’s delivery business – dealing with customers, invoicing and developing a website for the business.

Solution:

Our specialist careers adviser met with LG and his father on a number of occasions and looked at various options:

  • LG wanted to develop his ICT (software and hardware), website design, book keeping and business skills.
  • He hoped to have the opportunity to work outside his father's business with other people.
  • LG wasn't keen to continue in full-time education; he was unlikely to meet entry criteria for relevant courses.
  • With the adviser he looked at pre-foundation level training; ICT training with a local provider; registering with REAL Employment Agency, which works with people aged 16 and over with a learning and/or physical disability and getting help from Gateway to Care.
  • The adviser also spoke to LG's father on a number of occasions, talking to him about LG's options.
  • His adviser arranged for LG to visit REAL, staff there helped him claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
  • LG continued his interest in designing and making bird boxes and planters out of wood. His father provided him with work space in a unit within his warehouse.  Through ESA and a loan from his father, LG was able to purchase a work station and some basic tools. It seemed that
  • LG had a practical talent for woodwork but was constrained because he was not capable of heavy lifting or carrying the wood himself.
  • His adviser then discussed the possibility of self-employment using his 'bird box' hobby and gave him information on Live Wire and other agencies that could help with funding and business advice.

Results:

LG developed his business with his father’s guidance and now designs and sells planters and bird-boxes:

  • He operates from a unit in his father’s warehouse and his father’s courier business helps with deliveries.
  • His Gateway to Care volunteer goes in once a week to help him with his woodwork.
  • LG set up his own website and has sold planters and taken more orders.

Future:

LG is continuing with self-employment:

  • He qualified for Access to Work benefits and hopes to employ a full-time person to help in the business.
  • LG still has his good days when he can be productive and bad days when he has to rest.
  • Running his own business gives LG the flexibility to earn a living.
Matrix logo

Disability Confident Employer logo

CDI logo

Workplace Wellbeing Charter logo