Social Enterprise and Employment Development
The SEED project came to an end in September 2012. Its purpose was to help blind and partially sighted people gain the skills and experience needed to find employment.
The Social Enterprise and Employment Development (SEED) Project, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, has spent three years providing work experience opportunities for blind and partially sighted people.
The SEED Project was piloted in the north east of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands, working with social enterprises to provide valuable placements in a safe and supportive environment.
The project worked with over 150 blind and partially sighted people. The team supported individuals to move closer to gaining employment through a number of work experience opportunities with external organisations, and supporting with job searching techniques, confidence building and interview tips.
The team worked with 43 organisations to help them achieve a greater understanding of recruiting and supporting blind and partially sighted people. Through this work, the Project was able to offer the following work placements to visually impaired jobseekers:
65 one day work taster sessions, 41 two week work experience placements and 43 paid 3–6 month trainee placements.
Following on from the trainee placements, 28 per cent have now gained employment, with the remaining individuals either continuing to volunteer or returning to education.
Sue, 44, from Birmingham had been unemployed for almost a year when she heard about the SEED Project.
Sue was losing confidence and despite having a number of word processing and audio typing qualifications, sight loss was proving a major barrier to employment.
Sue was matched up with Gateway Family Services, a local social enterprise, where she was interviewed for a trainee placement.
She was successful and started a six month placement as a Trainee Team Administrator. Sue explains, "The placement through the SEED Project and Action for Blind People provided me with a great opportunity and came just at the right time. It gave me the chance to learn new skills and gain experience to add to my CV”.
Just as her placement was coming to an end a position became available in Gateway’s Administration team. Sue applied and was successful again.
Katherine Hewitt, Programme Lead at Gateway Family Services says, "Sue is an asset to the organisation. She is just as capable as her sighted colleagues and secured her position based on her ability."
Action Matters January 2013
In our January issue of Action Matters we look at how our supporters' generous support was invaluable throughout 2012. Read how supporters like you made a life-changing difference to Audrey's life.
Make a donation
Please donate online now to help ensure that blind and partially sighted people can lead fulfilling, independent lives.
How your gift helps
- £10 can help someone understand their eye condition and treatment through information from our Eye Health Team.
- £20 can help provide information and support to someone with sight problems seeking employment.
- £30 can help pay for a large print keyboard allowing a partially sighted person to continue to use a computer.
If you have any questions, please get in touch on 020 7874 1340 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).