City College Brighton and Hove is working in collaboration with a newly-launched social enterprise charity project ‘Team Domenica’ to offer bespoke and comprehensive supported employment programmes for young adults with learning or social barriers to accessing employment. Team Domenica will have the ‘Equality Works’ training café, open to the public in term time, where students will hone their professional and social skills. The charity will also be preparing students who want to work in other industry sectors such as digital media. Actress/writer Julie Walters took on ribbon-cutting duties at a highly-successful launch event for the project at its training café earlier this month.
Rosa Monckton, whose daughter, Domenica, has Down’s syndrome, started the charity to meet the needs of learning disabled young adults whose greatest challenge is to find regular employment. Rosa says:
Julie Walters launches Team Domenica
'I'm really elated to know this will be able to make a difference to people's lives. We chose Brighton because Domenica absolutely loves living here and so enjoyed her time at City College. It's an incredibly diverse and welcoming city and so it is a great place to launch this project.
'This is just the start of a much larger operation. Our plan is to open other centres across the South Coast, and then nationally. The aim is to transform the lives of the learning disabled.'
Team Domenica aims to be unique within the community in the breadth of support it provides to students in supporting them make a contribution to society through work while also offering guidance and companionship to combat loneliness. The charity has signed up 21 students in partnership with City College and many local employers have offered placements and pledged their support.
City College’s CEO Nick Juba says: 'City College is delighted to be working in partnership with Team Domenica to help create opportunities for our students to gain employment building on the success that they have had at college.'
Yvonne Elliott, Head of Foundation Learning at City College, says: 'We have high expectations of all of our Foundation Learning students and provide opportunities for them to make the very best of their time at College. It has been a joy to see them all grow in confidence and develop their employability skills.
'With the support of their tutor Nikki Dabbs, the Foundation Catering students have not only grown in confidence but also developed their professional catering skills. The opportunity for progression to employment that Team Domenica will offer is an incredibly positive development that we’re thrilled to be partnering in.'
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