At Team Domenica, we strongly believe that young people with learning disabilities have the right to work, to lead fulfilling lives, to have their individual talents recognised, and to feel included as valued members of society.
There are 1.3 million people with learning disabilities in the UK, and just 5.1% are employed in England (NHS Digital, 2021). Far too many are missing out on the basic right to aspire to a career, along with the wider social networks, better emotional and physical health, and increased independence a job can provide. They can feel rejected and isolated from society, unable to experience the same employment aspirations as those around them.
Founder and Chairman Rosa Monckton, whose younger daughter, Domenica, has Down’s Syndrome, set up Team Domenica in 2016 to change this. Now, we are incredibly proud to say that since opening, 81% of candidates have achieved paid employment through our Supported Internship Programme.
“Getting a paid job has made me so happy, but it has made me even happier thinking about the friendships I have built. Team Domenica has made my life so much better.” Joanna, Team Domenica candidate
We deliver a range of bespoke employment programmes, structured to prepare young people with learning disabilities – our candidates – for the workplace:
Supported Employment Programme
A candidate’s journey to employment begins here – developing the communication, independence and resilience needed to feel more confident in the workplace.
Around half of a candidate’s first year is spent in our training cafes, learning everything from how to brew a barista coffee and bake perfect pastries, to serving customers, working with colleagues and using a rota. Our cafes are open to the public, also allowing us to educate the public on the benefits of working with people with learning disabilities.
Candidates progress into three work experience placements across a variety of industries – developing their technical abilities and experience, whilst discovering what roles are right for them. We work with 50 businesses across Sussex to provide work experience placements for candidates.
Alongside this, candidates complete an employment qualification, whilst also growing their confidence, wellbeing and friendships through art, sports and music-based enrichment activities.
Supported Internship Programme
In their second year, candidates access a supported internship with one of our 50+ partnered employers. Each internship is chosen based on a candidate’s interests and ambitions, and has the ultimate aim of leading to paid work.
Wrap Around Support
Nationally, just 25% of people completing supported internships are still in work after one year. This means that it is crucial our support doesn’t end once a candidate is in employment. To help our young people sustain paid work, we provide ongoing support to both candidates and employers, through our Wrap Around Programme. As a result, 95% of Team Domenica candidates sustain their roles for one year or more.
“It’s hard to describe how proud I am for getting a job. It’s something I never thought I’d achieve, and now it just feels so amazing.” – Katie, candidate and Brighton i360 employee