As part of our commitment to helping those in our local community with disability find meaningful employment, This is Our Community works closely with the Department for Work & Pensions on its “Access to Work” programme.
In fact, in 2012 Maundy Todd, Director of This is Our Community, was appointed to the “Access to Work” Expert Advisory Panel by the former Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller. The “Access to Work” (AtW) programme is a Jobcentre Plus grant scheme, which assists disabled people who are in paid employment, self employed, or participating in a Jobcentre Plus agreed Job/WorkTrial which may have already commenced or is due to commence, by providing practical support to overcome work-related obstacles resulting from their disability. For those who need the support, AtW grants pay for things like specialist equipment, travel when they can’t use public transport, and a communicator at a job interview. Each year, “Access to Work” helps over 30,000 people enter and stay in employment.
However, in the Royal Borough of Kingston last year, only 60 people used AtW; the program is a vastly under-utilized resource for those with disability. Recently, Jobcentre Plus has been increasingly active in supporting employers to take on people with disability. By working in partnership with local organizations, statutory authorities, and not-for-profit organizations, we aim to:
• Increase awareness of the existence of AtW and the financial help available to support disabled employees
• Make it easier for employers and people to obtain AtW support
• Remove some of the current barriers stopping people getting help from AtW
• Increase the number of people who get support from AtW
For more information and details about the programme, you can go to the DWP’s website.
For additional information, you can also download the Access to Work Customer Leaflet, which includes case studies on how “Access to Work” can provide support for those who are interested.
Local contacts for “Access to Work”:
Access to Work – Operational Support Unit
- Telephone number 020 8426 3110
- Text phone 020 8426 3133
- Generic email – email@example.com