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Project information

Skilling up for Independence

Provide accessible low cost community-based short courses and groups as part of our “Skill Up” centres for people with Learning Disabilities. These will provide equality of opportunity for people who may have little or no statutory funding to access local low cost support towards independence.

February 2019 - November 2019

Charity information: Minstead Trust

Minstead Trust logo
  • Need


    1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability. Many receive little or no statutory support and may not have family to help with everyday life. Without regular support to maintain and develop their skills and confidence, they can become lonely and isolated. The SCIE report “Preventing Loneliness and Social Isolation Intervention & Outcomes 2014” states social isolation impacts on quality of life. There are few alternatives to full day support for those with minimal funding.


    Minstead Trust short courses and groups as part of our “Skill Up” centres will provide a series of affordable term time weekly courses, groups and holiday activities. People can join their chosen course to enable them to maintain or develop a particular skill or area of interest to help them reach their chosen outcomes and help towards independence. Three initial programmes will be: 1. Healthy Hobbies 2. Talk It! Do It! 3. Skills for Living Independently.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To introduce our first Bursary funded courses in one Hampshire venue in 2019.


    » Launch Healthy Hobbies 2019 focusing on creative projects developing the outcomes related to new skills and promoting a sense of self worth.
    » Launch Talk It! Do It! 2019 with outcomes focused on being confident in the community, successful shopping and showing off skills at the job centre.
    » Launch Skills for Living Independently 2019 with outcomes focused on managing tenancy issues, what to expect at the doctors and eating healthily.

    What success will look like

    We will launch our Spring 2019 programme in one venue having recruited a session leader, a volunteer and with at least 6 joiners.

    Aim 2

    Promote places for up to 10 people on each course (up to 120 places) subject to funding received.


    » Produce promotional materials
    » Liaise with local colleges and community groups
    » Digital marketing activity through partner organisations

    What success will look like

    Each group will have secured at least 6 joiners (to break even) to new potential beneficiaries with sign ups for the later season and holiday courses already in place.

    Aim 3

    Deliver each course to achieve progress against individual goals


    » Deliver learning through enjoyable activities, games and role play
    » Offer support and guidance in response to specific everyday life issues that crop up each week

    What success will look like

    Success will be monitored through our Bespoke Outcomes Framework measuring progress to greater independence along a 5 point scale for a range of goals using feedback processes.

  • Impact


    The short course and groups will provide participants with confidence to live more independent lives, enabling them to engage in society more fully with better health and wellbeing outcomes to avert potential crises.
    The impact of these groups and short courses will be that between 24 and 40 people with Learning Disabilities will have been supported in the community who might otherwise not have had specific focused support. £6000 will enable 4 courses to be run in the community to reach them.


    Failure to secure suitable premises in new areas, although the first venue in Eastleigh is already confirmed.
    There is a risk that we fail to reach potential beneficiaries however we have been successful in the use of a wide variety of promotional methods using local networks, community noticeboards, advertising and leaflet drops.
    There is a risk that we cannot recruit a suitably trained leader, however we are experienced in successful recruitment of community support workers.


    An annual impact report will be available on our website . We provide regular social media and newsletter updates. Where appropriate, donors will receive a personal communication on progress, to meet their communication requirements and be invited to visit the groups.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,470

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,050 Room Hire One ten week course for up to 10 people with Learning Disabilities
      £7,650 Course Leader/Tutor To plan and run the course sessions
      £1,350 Course materials £15 per head for 10 people for variety of materials to assist in delivery of course aims
      £900 Marketing and Promotion To promote the sessions in the community
      £900 Volunteer Recruitment/Support To recruit and support session volunteer
      £900 Management supervision Oversight of Minstead Trust management in course performance
      £720 Travel expenses For staff and volunteer
  • Background


    We support people with Learning disabilities in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Portsmouth with residential care home, day opportunities and supporting people win their own homes to develop work and life skills and improve their health and well being. Our community-based short courses will be based in Hampshire, supporting people with Learning Disabilities who have little or no statutory support.


    Up to 120 people with Learning Disabilities who have little or no statutory funding for support to attend day service opportunities. This will give these people the equality of opportunity to access a structured support and skills development group to help them in their everyday lives, towards maintaining and developing their independence. Without access to these groups or to support they could become lonely and isolated and not working towards helping their independence.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working successfully with people with learning disabilities for over 30 years, progressing people from 24/7 support to more independent lives in the community. We support nearly 200 people, with strong governance and senior leadership and”outstanding” CQC rating. We are well networked with community support agencies. Our expertise unlocks the potential of each person to address their particular challenges to make progress towards their aims, as evidenced in a bespoke outcomes.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ophelia Matthias

    Staff member Head of Day Opportunities to initiate first sessions groups and provide close oversight of project delivery

    Lorna Jones

    Staff member Lead creative projects instructor to provide session delivery of initial sessions

    Travis Musselwhite

    Staff member Director of Care - providing management oversight of course delivery and performance

I've got more confidence to go out more

Attendee of 2018 Talk It Do It ! course