PETE was a year-long programme that ended in August 2015. It helped over 100 people with autism, a learning disability or a mental health condition to make progress towards the labour market. It was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) together with Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils.
Each participant was assigned a Health & Well-being Adviser within one of our partners (see below), who provided initial assessment, IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance) and ongoing support to address their health or disability-related barriers to work. BRCC assisted participants in accessing work experience, volunteering opportunities and gaining employment.
Key outputs were:
- 107 participants enrolled and given Information, Advice and Guidance
- 23 participants went on volunteering or work experience placements
- 14 participants gained some form of employment
The project partners were:
One participant had been out of work for many years battling depression and anxiety. His passion has always been driving, and whilst being involved in PETE he built up the confidence to apply for a driving job with a local garden centre. He was offered the post over a number of other candidates. The participant had once thought that he would never work again, as his self-esteem was at rock bottom – but now after gaining employment his confidence is at an all-time high, stating that “I now feel I am a somebody after 7 years of feeling like a nobody”.
Another participant said “I don’t think anyone could ever understand the impact this project has had on my wellbeing. Sometimes I wouldn’t even want to get out of bed, but this project made me realise there is a light at the end of the tunnel”.