Phoenix Trust offers placements providing a meaningful experience of work and the development of social and life skills to people with a range of learning disabilities.

By providing supported placements we greatly improve the confidence, quality of life and self- fulfilment of our trainees.

Our aim is to provide a safe, welcoming and empowering environment in which trainees can develop practical work, but also life and basic skills. We actively promote an inclusive atmosphere, encouraging trainees to socialise, make friends and have consideration for others.

Trainees choose from a range of activities. In the factory, we make a wide variety of paving slabs and garden ornaments. This is a mini production line, and particularly suits those needing a very structured working day. The woodshed provides an opportunity for more creativity – trainees can make a range of products, from bird boxes to dog kennels, from mud kitchens to picnic benches. Our kitchen placement is particularly popular with our trainees, producing a hot two course meal each day, all the while learning about nutrition, food hygiene and budgeting. Finally, placements in our garden are ideal for those preferring to work outdoors, weather permitting.

Our approach

Phoenix has a person-centred approach, with all trainees having a training and support plan, to both identify where they currently are with regards to their skills, but also to set achievable goals. Alongside this, we encourage the trainee to reflect on three key questions: What’s Important to Me? What Do I Want to Do? How Am I Going to Get There?

Focused targets are set for each area of work, so real achievements, however small they might appear to be, can be clearly recorded as milestones in progression. Social and communication skills targets sit alongside the work specific ones, and are a key aspect in understanding employability, covering areas such as punctuality, concentration and team work. As part of our monitoring progress, we schedule an internal informal session every six weeks. We also aim to have reviews where family and external agencies are invited, every six months.

Our relatively small size enables us to be flexible, focusing on the trainees hopes and aspirations. However, we also stress that Phoenix is a workplace, where we are helping trainees to gain an understanding of the world of work and its requirements. This understanding is achieved in a variety of ways, such as meeting customers, so that making products is linked to an actual end user or participating in off site visits to suppliers, retailers etc, to provide the business context.

We welcome visitors and offer a free taster session to anyone thinking about joining our Phoenix community.

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