Project information

First Steps Pre Employment Training Programme.

To provide training to disabled adults living in Somerset, in order to develop their confidence and aspirations, enabling them to move towards employment in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Each programme provides 10 sessions over a 3 month period, a further 3 months for promotion, recruitment, programme development and evaluation is required, meaning each funded programme would last for 6 months from the point where funding is secured.

Charity information: Compass Disability Services

Compass Disability Services logo
  • Need


    Current government funded back to work programs are designed for people who are closest to entering the employment market. Many disabled people require more long term progression support, they need to understand their disability, consider their employment potential more thoroughly, understand what support is available to them and participate in activities that increase confidence and self worth before undertaking these programs.


    Through delivery of First Steps Pre Employment Training Programmes for disabled adults in Somerset. Sessions include: Assertiveness and Confidence Building, Understanding My Disability, Workplace Disability Law and Employment Support. Evaluation of previous courses show an increase in confidence, increased perception of potential and a move towards employment including volunteering with the Avon and Somerset Police, completion of a Hairdressing Apprenticeship and a move into further education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve employability and access to employment, including volunteering for disabled people.


    » Engage trainers and specialists in areas including; Developing Confidence and Assertiveness, Understanding Self Image and Identity and Employment law.
    » Use in house trainers to develop sessions including; Understanding My Disability and Team Building. (See further aims for more related activities)

    What success will look like

    Success will be... 90% of all participants who commence the course will complete the programme.

    Aim 2

    To remove barriers to work by increasing disabled people's awareness of available support.


    » Reserve appropriate venues and outdoor activity centres. (See further aims for more related activities)

    What success will look like

    Success will be...80% of all participants will note an improvement in confidence in the post course evaluation.

    Aim 3

    To increased confidence & self-esteem for disabled people considering employment.


    » Promote the programme in order to recruit participants. (See further aims for more related activities)

    What success will look like

    Success will be...50% of participants will be engaged in further education or employment (Paid or unpaid) within 6 months of completing the programme.

    Aim 4

    To increase the learner’s ability to understand their potential, set goals, reflect and evaluate.


    » Ensure all access needs are met including the provision of transport, care and communication support for learners and trainers where needed.
    » Evaluate each session and the overall course on completion to enable ongoing improvements to future programmes. (See other aims for more activities)

    What success will look like

    Success will be...75% of participants will be engaged in further education or employment (Paid or unpaid) within 12 months of completing the programme.

  • Impact


    Enabling disabled people to move towards employment has a significant impact for themself, their community and the local economy. General quality of life and financial security will be improved and an ability to contribute more to society. By celebrating the successes of participants in the media they can become role models for other disabled people, encouraging them to make the same considerations, thus reducing benefit claimants and increasing those actively contributing to their community.


    A full risk assessment has been completed and has identified potential risk to ours and our funders reputation, potential financial and legal risks and potential resource risks to deliver the programme. These will be dealt with by ensuring that a detailed work plans is in place, a fully considered budget is scrutinised regularly, relevant insurances are in place, consistent monitoring takes place and contingency plans are considered in advance.


    A project work plan, with timescales will be drawn up and agreed. Project work plans, noting progress, are reviewed on a bi monthly basis at Senior Team Review meetings, a copy of which will be forwarded to the funder. We are also happy to commit to the specific reporting requirements of donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,500

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,700 Room Hire and Refreshments 10 sessions x £85 x 2 programmes
      £8,000 Trainer Fees 10 sessions x £400 x 2 programmes
      £3,400 Support Costs x 2 programmes For example travel expenses for learners, BSL Interpreters, care support, etc.
      £1,000 Promotional and Learning Mater 2 programmes (Posters, adverts, files, paper, etc.)
      £2,400 Salaries 80 hours x £15 per hour x 2 programmes
  • Background


    Somerset is a rural county of approx 500000 people, In the past year Somerset has been recognised as one of the hardest hit areas in the South West for job cuts. Normal barriers faced by disabled people are compounded by a lack of accessible transport in the county and isolation.


    Each programme can accommodate up to 16 learners. All participants will be disabled adults who are aged 18+ and not currently in employment. In addition to the participants who gain the most direct benefit, families benefit through improved financial security when participants move into work and a reduction in stress and improvement in general wellbeing for all parties. Local communities can benefit as learners move into volunteering and the economy is boosted with a move away from benefits.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Compass Disability Services has a proven track record having initially designed and delivered the Programme to 12 disabled adults in 2010. We have fully evaluated the programme and made improvements as suggested by the participants. One said "This experience has changed my life completely and has given me so much confidence and hope in myself to know that I can do anything even though I have a disability, with some things being done a little differently, but still done!".

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rachel Bye, Project Coordinator,

    Designed and supported the delivery of the 2010 First Steps Pre Employment Training Programme. Will be the project lead for new programmes.

    Richard Pitman, CEO,

    Runs an "understanding my disability" session. He has regular contact with participants as an example of a working disabled man.

    Clive Essame

    A disabled artist and life coach who delivers sessions connected to self awareness and identity using various art mediums.

    Penny Gibbons

    An experienced trainer in disability awareness and understanding barriers.


= 1 completed Pre Employment Training course

This experience has changed my life completely and has given me so much confidence and hope in myself to know that I can do anything