Over the first week of ecdp Works we asked our participants both what they had learned, and what they thought they would take forward into the world of employment.
Confidence building has been a target of the ecdp Works programme from the very beginning, and a lot of our participants have identified this as one of the most valuable parts of the course so far.
Jody has felt that although he’s often been misunderstood in the past, the relaxed and supportive atmosphere of ecdp works has allowed him to realise the value he can add to discussions. This has meant that he hasn’t had to go ‘into a shell’, and has had the confidence to be himself.
Dave March told us that the confidence building exercises led by Rachel Vipond, ecdp Project Manager, during the course have allowed him to talk, and even be forward enough to start conversations himself, which he’s previously struggled with.
Another important point that several of this cohort identified as a benefit from the first week of ecdp Works is their renewed hope for the future.
Helen told the group that the training week has made her ‘hopeful’, because it has given her a chance, which she had previously felt had been denied to her.
Kathryn told us that she had ‘learnt not to assume’ that she couldn’t do certain things, and instead will aim to try everything she can.
Rob added that ‘In the past the emphasis has been on what you can’t do. Now it’s about what you can do’.
The cohesion between the members of this group has been fantastic. When asked what she’s enjoyed about the week, Sue had a one word answer: ‘Camaraderie!’
Sue said she is often used to being the only disabled person in a group, so being around others in a similar position to her was comforting.
Steve agreed, and said that ‘it’s been useful talking to a range to people, seeing how they feel about various things’.
This closeness is fantastic for the group, as it will help our participants on their placements to be able to talk to others going through the same journey.
Thanks to all the participants for sharing their thoughts, and we hope that they continue to enjoy and learn from their ecdp Works journey as they explore their work placements over the next six weeks.