Building for the Future Plus is a brand-new initiative due to be launched in June 2021. The project aims to enable young, local, disabled adults who have left school or college, to work towards achieving their ambitions. These ambitions may relate to work, hobbies, socialising and more. We believe that we can help connect young people to life-fulfilling opportunities relating to their dreams for the future. Each young person is unique and so each individual project will be unique and entirely bespoke. The opportunities are endless, they just need to be sourced and connected to the young person.
Though there is support for some young people with disabilities from various agencies, as parents of disabled children and young people ourselves, we recognise that more can be done. We are well aware of what our children need, as are they, but often there are barriers in place which prevent lone families from finding the right opportunities or breaking into organisations which might help. We have spoken to many families who have found that once their children leave school or college, there is very little for them. This not only results in the young person feeling adrift and unfulfilled, but leaves parents and carers feeling frustrated and worried too. There are many local organisations which are only too keen to work with young people with disabilities and so there is also a need to enable those organisations to do so by educating, reassuring, supporting and encouraging them.
Building for the Future has been operating in this area for almost fifteen years and has built up not only a great reputation, but a wealth of contacts. We are confident that we can make progress and create opportunities for young disabled people to achieve their ambitions.
We will not provide care as we believe that is the responsibility of the statutory service providers, but we will use our experience and contacts to source opportunities to help young people achieve their aims.
We are already in talks with drama leaders and sports groups and plan to facilitate social groups in our area by putting young people in touch with each other and setting up a buddy scheme with local sixth form groups. Where appropriate, we will also set up mentoring opportunities with local businesses and work experience which may in turn lead to employment. Building for the Future’s overarching aim has always been to raise the profile of disabled children in our community. Through Building for the Future Plus, we will continue this by extending the service to young disabled adults.