History of The Work Station
Conscious of the gap in government and statutory provisions within the vocational training arena, St Catherine’s piloted a small programme in late 2006/early 2007 investigating an expansion of our existing service. The pilot was immensely successful, in particular:
- the structure of training and mentoring resulted in young people broadening their skills base and experiences relevant to potential future employment
- learners gained an insight to, and an appreciation of, the challenges of a working environment
- potential employers gained an insight into the skills and experiences young people with speech, language and communication needs offer
- at the very least the pilot helped participants build their self confidence in developing life skills whether that be individually, working within a team environment or equipping them to fulfil their employment potential.
The pilot project absolutely met St Catherine’s aim of assisting young people to fulfil their potential in life. Indeed the pilot was so successful that other organisations registered their interest for young people to join us.
Given the pilot’s success and interest from others, St Catherine’s investigated the feasibility of launching a permanent programme. Given vocational training does not fall within special education needs commissioning, a decision was taken by the Trustees and the senior management team to fully support The Work Station through charitable fundraising and voluntary income.
This unprecedented stance on the part of St Catherine's illustrates the complete belief we all share in the opportunities provided by The Work Station. With fantastic three-year support from the Henry Smith Charity, The Work Station Project Coordinator was appointed in July 2008. The generous support of Awards for All to assist in purchasing equipment and our numerous fundraising events meant we were able to open The Work Station to participants in September 2008.
The Work Station transforms the outlook of young people with speech, language and communication needs and, in turn, their lives. This amazing project is funded entirely by our supporters and through our fundraising. If you are interesting in assisting this wonderful project, please do not hesitate to contact Rachel Thomson on 01983 857205.