A pan-London disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has been given the chance to test “exciting” and “important” approaches to supporting young disabled people into work that reflect the social model of disability, after securing more than £750,000 in funding.Inclusion London has been awarded £775,000 over five years by the City Bridge Trust, which funds charities on behalf of the City of London Corporation, as part of a new £3.3 million Bridge To Work fund set up to support more young disabled people into employment.Inclusion London said the grant will allow it to “test and pilot and evaluate” models of employment support that reflect the ethos and values of DPOs and the social model of disability, in contrast with the unsuccessful approaches of large government contractors that have previously secured funding through the Work Programme and Work Choice.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, said there was frustration that DPOs had not previously been funded for such work.She said: “You have a whole set of practices around mainstream employment support that just aren’t working and all the evidence shows that the success rates are so tiny… whichever way you look at it, the current approaches are not delivering.”She pointed to the “perverse incentives” for employment support providers not to work with disabled people perceived as being harder to find jobs, and the “non-social model understanding about what the barriers in the workplace really are”.She added: “That’s what was really frustrating in the government’s [work, health and disability] green paper, apart from all the really devious stuff, was just that it’s kind of going to be business as usual in terms of delivery models but with a lot less money, and that’s just not going to work.“It’s shocking but it’s not surprising.”She said DPOs had been excluded from the big government employment support contracts, although most of them would not want to bid for such contracts anyway because of the “whole range of mandatory and devious practices” they impose on out-of-work benefit claimants, such as the use of sanctioning disabled people’s benefits.Lazard said: “It is pretty shocking that there’s not any evidence of any real commitment to look again at models of employment support, because they are not working.“So this is an opportunity and City Bridge Trust are a great funder and they understand that this is strategic, long term structural work which is why I think there is five years of funding.”Inclusion London will work closely with Action on Disability (AoD), a user-led organisation based in Hammersmith and Fulham, and plans to develop some of the “innovative” work AoD has been doing to support disabled people into work.One of the models they will be developing is an AoD internship scheme, which has worked with people with learning difficulties who were previously “trapped in the revolving door of classroom based support” and has seen as many as 70 per cent of those taking part securing jobs.The aim is to identify job vacancies that a large employer is finding difficult to fill, find a young disabled person from a local college to fill those positions, and then provide “really quite high levels of ‘in situ’ job support”, using college and Access to Work funding.Action on Disability has been focusing its work on young people with learning difficulties, so one of Inclusion London’s aims is to expand that to other groups.Inclusion London will now aim to recruit five other London DPOs to work with this and other employment support models, providing those user-led organisations with the support they need to build their own capacity.Another support model will be to target small and medium-sized employers along a local high street, again providing high levels of support when the young person is in post.Inclusion London will also be trialling different ways that young disabled people can approach job-seeking, including direct approaches to a potential employer, even targeting the chief executive.There is also funding through the grant to train other DPOs in skills and approaches and tips that they can pass on to their members and service-users, and to work with public sector employers such as the NHS to open up their job opportunities to young disabled people.Through the five years, Inclusion London hopes to build evidence of what approaches work and share those conclusions with other organisations and the government.The Bridge To Work programme aims to use learning from the projects it is funding – including Inclusion London’s – to “better inform government and other funders” in how to support more disabled people into work.Other disability organisations awarded grants from the fund are Action for Kids (£250,000), the National Autistic Society (£199,000), Muscular Dystrophy UK (£276,000), Mencap (£350,000) and Whizz-Kidz (£384,000).In addition to the funding for the six organisations, there is a separate pot of more than £500,000 to support paid work experience and internships for young disabled Londoners in charities and the private sector, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises.Jack McLellan (pictured), who has benefited from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Moving Up programme, which has previously received funding from the trust and will now see that support continued for another five years, said: “I was so disheartened when I first tried to find work after university that I needed a real boost to my confidence and skills to get on the right track.“The Moving Up programme helped me gain experience, try out new roles and get that crucial break of a first job.“I hope this new support means lots more young people are given the same chance to show their worth.”Alison Gowman, who chairs the City Bridge Trust committee, said: “We are certain this new programme will really transform lives of young disabled people.“The charities we are funding will give employers the support, skills and resources they need to increase opportunities for disabled people.“The programme has a wider mission and is looking to influence policy in this area and make real long-term change for the disabled community.”
Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of ParliamentLabourList readers favour another referendum over other Brexit options in an ‘indicative votes’ scenario, our latest survey has found.Asked which route they would choose if they were a Labour MP who could participate in the likely upcoming series of ‘indicative votes’ in the Commons, 52% of 4,700 respondents opted for another referendum.Almost 42% chose Labour’s Brexit plan, involving customs union membership, while nearly 18% opted for the cross-party compromise Common Market 2.0, which would require single market membership.Just 4.8% would vote for ‘Theresa May’s deal with added protections for workers’ rights and environmental standards’, which Labour MPs including Gareth Snell and Lisa Nandy have in the past suggested they could have agreed to.The overwhelming majority of LabourList readers who took the survey said they thought John Bercow was a good Speaker of the House of Commons.Last year, Bercow faced calls to quit after a report found that there was a culture of “silence” around bullying in parliament and claims surfaced of the Speaker himself bullying staff members.But many Labour MPs defended Speaker Bercow, who denied the allegations, and grandee Margaret Beckett said it would be a mistake to replace him as dealing with Brexit “trumps bad behaviour”.It would seem our readers agree: 91% (4,328 respondents) said he was a ‘good Speaker’ and just 5.4% said he wasn’t. Bercow has recently been at loggerheads with the government over Brexit, and particularly clashed with Commons leader Andrea Leadsom.Offering an idea of the political persuasions of LabourList readers, the survey found that almost 30% of 4,654 respondents were supporters or members of the Corbynite group Momentum.Excluding those respondents who didn’t choose any groups, 60.5% selected Momentum.The left-wing Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) came next, supported by nearly 8%, followed closely by the Corbynsceptic organisation Labour First, which had the support of nearly 7%.The most factional groups – Momentum, CLPD, Labour First, CfS, Progress – were generally found to garner more support than policy-focussed lobby groups such as Labour Future and Blue Labour.1. This week, Labour moved to replace ex-Labour MPs Mike Gapes and Ian Austin from a select committee. Was this “vindictive”, as Austin claimed, or fair?Click to enlarge.Fair – 70.5% (3,346)Vindictive – 19.2% (910)Don’t know – 10.3% (491)2. Is John Bercow a good Speaker?Click to enlarge.Yes – 91.1% (4,328)No – 5.4% (257)Don’t know – 3.5% (165)3. Some MPs are calling for ‘indicative votes’, which would allow them to express their views on various Brexit options without being whipped. If you were a Labour MP and could vote on the following options, which would you vote for?Click to enlarge.Another referendum – 2,447Labour’s Brexit plan – 1,972Common Market 2.0 – 837Theresa May’s deal with added protections for workers’ rights and environmental standards – 230Don’t know – 1764. Which of these groups are you a member or supporter?Click to enlarge.Momentum – 29.1% (1,354)Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) – 7.9% (368)Labour First – 7% (329)Campaign for Socialism – 5.4% (258)Progress – 5.3% (250)Open Labour – 5.1% (240)Labour Representation Committee – 4% (190)Labour Together – 3.3% (156)Labour Future – 2.6% (124)Welsh Labour Grassroots – 1.9% (91)Blue Labour – 1.1% (52)The survey was open from 9am on Friday 22nd March until 8pm on Sunday 24th March. Thank you to all 4,782 readers who took part.Tags:Ian Austin /Weekly Survey /Mike Gapes /Brexit /Indicative votes /Speaker Bercow /
TOM Houghton is the proud winner of a Season Ticket For Life thanks to a unique competition between Saints and Wish FM.The 20-year-old was pulled out of the hat by double Man of Steel and Club legend Paul Sculthorpe at the radio station recently.He won a Saints Season Ticket for the rest of his life at the new stadium and a whole host of other prizes including a chance to watch the team train and appear on the 2012 team photo.“My granddad and dad have been massive Saints fans so I was always going to follow them,” he said. “I have been watching the Saints for as long as I can remember and I think my first game was watching Castleford at Knowsley Road.“I loved Knowsley Road as it had a great atmosphere even through the stadium was a bit old. I can’t wait to get into the new stadium! It is looking awesome and watching its progress on www.saintsrlfc.com has been great.”Tom says he used to stand on the Pop Side of our famous old ground and he’s replicated the ‘side on’ view by choosing the North Stand for his season ticket.“I was planning on buying a season ticket through direct debit so this has really worked well for me!” he said. “As a Wish FM listener I heard the competition on the station and thought I would go for it. Then my mum sent me a link to the competition from Wish FM’s website and I thought there’s nothing to lose.“To get the phone call from Chris Milow and Scully was superb. I couldn’t believe it. I was dead excited really and it was fantastic.“I’m so looking forward to being at that first game at the new stadium and being part of the history and feeling the atmosphere.“It will be exciting. We have a lot of players coming in and through the set up. Jonny Lomax is looking quality and Lance Hohaia will be great alongside him. I always knew our Youth Team was one of the best as we are always bringing quality players through.“I’m looking forward to see how Anthony Laffranchi gets on too and how he takes over from James Graham.“It’s really exciting to be a Saints fan at the moment.”You can buy your Season Ticket by clicking here.
SAINTS chairman Eamonn McManus believes the home opener with Leeds Rhinos on Thursday February 9 is a hugely important clash for both clubs.“It’s a big game,” he said at the club’s press day. “You cannot read anything into the fact Leeds had a bad season last year. Too many reasons were given for that and there is only one; half their team was missing for most of the season. A full strength Leeds side is still one of the strongest in Super League.“It is a huge game for us to kick off the season and one that is hugely important for both clubs. A lot is riding on it in terms of the atmosphere it creates in the respective clubs at the beginning of the season.”Saints fell at the semi-final stage of the competition last season and McManus says the squad is better equipped to challenge on all fronts this season.“We were very close to getting to a final and let’s face it we should have been there,” he added. “But that can’t disguise the fact there was a period in the season where a club like St Helens should have been doing better than it was. That said, in the second half of the season, when we got players back, results improved but I think we have a lot to make up for.“We should be having silverware on the table, that is the aim this season and I think we are better equipped to do so. We have recruited well, the younger players are more mature after last season and will be able to handle things better. We will approach the season with great sense of excitement and confidence.“I think the team has a better balance than last season. We want to win and want to win in style. The two isn’t always possible in the big games but we are capable of both so let’s see what the season holds.“We have made a huge effort in improving the team and we have had to as the competition is as strong as ever. There are five or six teams that can win it and no game is going to be straight forward.“We have gone a couple of years without silverware and that is something we really do demand at this club and is what we judge our success or on.”Tickets for the home opener are now on sale from the Ticket Office, online and via 01744 455 052.
Fages has missed the last two games against Catalans and the win over Warrington following a hip injury he picked up in the win over Hull KR back in March, but is included in the 19 man squad ahead of the derby. Jack Ashworth is the man that drops out.St.Helens 19 man squad:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.Stay tuned to saintsrlfc.com to hear from Justin Holbrook ahead of the derby. Wigan Warriors 19-man squad:Joe Bullock, Joe Burgess, Tom Davies, Morgan Escare, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Chris Hankinson, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Romain Navarrete, Sean O’Loughlin, Oliver Partington, Dan Sarginson, Jake Shorrocks, Morgan Smithies, Taulima Tautai, George Williams.Tickets are selling fast for the traditional Good Friday Derby vs. the Wigan Warriors. The North Stand, the main away end at the DW Stadium is now sold out with more than 5,500 Saints fans already securing their ticket for the biggest game in Rugby League.We have taken a new allocation of tickets in Block ES1 in the East Stand of the DW Stadium (the block closest to the North Stand.)You can purchase these online here, or by calling into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium (open until 5pm on weekdays),1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.Stay tuned to saintsrlfc.com to hear from Justin Holbrook ahead of the derby.