Adam, Transitions Service Manager, talks to us about how his service applied for funding through United Response's community grants programme and the difference it has made to Sam, who he supports.

We have supported Sam since his transition out of his family home, where he grew up, and into a United Response supported living service in Richmond. (You can read more about how we came to support Sam in this blog.)

Our team wanted to look at what skills and interests the people we support have and how we can turn them into something involving the local community.

Meaningful work

For example, Sam enjoys cars and going to the car wash to have his car cleaned. It’s something he enjoys when he visits his family. Given that it was a meaningful activity for Sam, we decided to work with him to learn how to clean cars.

We also helped Sam grow his confidence in posting on social media. He sent out a post asking ‘Can I clean your car?’ This was a great success and Sam received messages straight away asking for his services.

We then built a brand and applied for funds to take the car-washing enterprise to the next level.

A personal endeavour

Sam is non-verbal and communicates via Makaton hand signs and pictures. Because of this, Sam sometimes finds it difficult to find work placements. He always works hard and gets the most out of the placements, but due to Sam’s disability they can be tricky to find.

The car-washing enterprise is built around Sam’s skills and gives him room to develop, and he stays focused when he’s cleaning the cars. As the house doesn’t have a drive it means Sam cleans cars within the community, and oftSam washing a car with a big smile on his face!en travels to where the car is.

Expanding the business

Sam is looking at expanding the project as some weeks he has more requests than he can complete himself! He is considering taking on staff to help with the demand, and with this will come other challenges to learn from. We will help him work towards making the enterprise self-sustainable in the long term.

The project has made a big difference to Sam, he has grown in self-confidence and gained more independence within the world of work. He has made several links within his local community, is learning skills that are transferable within any workplace and he has proven that he is more than able to deliver a service that members of the community will pay for.

Adam was talking to Sarah Riddlestone, fundraising assistant.

Help us keep social enterprises like this going!

Our community grants programme is run through fundraised money. So, if you’d like to help more people like Sam build connections with their local community, please donate today and make it happen.

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