Over the past year, we have helped 900 people with autism or a learning, physical or sensory disability to find work placements through our Surrey Choices EmployAbility service.
The success of the service was celebrated recently at our Making a Difference awards where we highlighted what a difference being within a work environment can make to our customers lives. However, it’s not just our customers who have seen the advantages – some of the biggest employers in the country have benefitted from adding hard working, enthusiastic and skilled individuals to their teams.
Brooklands College have supported our customers for over a decade and they continue to offer work experience placements to help them on their career journeys.
The staff at Whiteley Village were instrumental in setting up 46 student placements, where our customers worked as part of the grounds team. Without their support, driving force and motivation this group placement for the students would not have been possible.
Nicholas Reynolds is the Head of Facilities and Estates at Whiteley Village, he told us:
“It has been an honour and privilege to support Brooklands and Surrey Choices in helping students reach their full potential. Whiteley Village is immensely grateful for the hard work which added great value to the villagers in 2017. To be given the Surrey Choices award as a result of this was a great surprise and we are looking forward to displaying this with pride”.
Whiteley Village in Walton on Thames, Surrey was set up 101 years ago by the philanthropist, William Whiteley as a charitable retirement community for elderly people of limited financial means. Today 500 people, aged between 67-105, live in the Grade II listed village, the majority in independent almshouses, set in beautiful grounds maintained by Nicholas Reynolds and his team. There are also assisted care apartments and a nursing home for people with greater needs. The village has a vibrant community with its own shop, post-office, pub and over 25 clubs and hobby groups run by the villagers themselves.
Research undertaken by the Whiteley Homes Trust in 2017 found that residents cite feeling part of a secure and caring community, being known by others, and having pride in their village as key reasons for their happiness and the Trust believes that this is integral to the longevity boost identified by the Cass Business School of the University of London.
More people in the UK turned 70 in 2017 than ever before and, with one in three babies born today expected to live to 100 (Office for National Statistics 2016), baby boomers have vastly different expectations for their older years than previous generations, The Whiteley Homes Trust says it’s time for society to embrace older age and to think differently about how we all live well in our later years.