Emma has been a participant on the Northern Inclusion works programme since 2019. She was initially referred to the programme by her Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to receive support to overcome the barriers creating obstacles in meeting her goals. In March 2020 Emma agreed to participate in the Grow Project at Ashes to Gold but then Covid-19 caused lockdowns.

The Inclusion Works programme delivered materials for participants to grow at home and provide a focus for participants during this difficult time. The group set up a WhatsApp group where they could keep in touch with everyone and share progress pictures. 

Emma said:

“The grow project returned as Ashes to Gold again in April 2021 and I have enjoyed the time I have spent there learning how to sow seeds and watch them grow. I enjoyed it so much so that I had my dad construct my very own plot in our back yard this year so that I could continue my own home grow project as well as attending Ashes to Gold once a week. With the knowledge I have gained from attending Ashes to Gold I have successfully grown my own sweet peppers tomatoes, onions, spring onions as well as some beautiful orange lilies. I am also hoping to obtain an OCR in Horticulture for my participation in the grow project.”

Throughout Emma’s time on the Inclusion Works Programme she has also been supported to explore career options, to participate in work placements and also to develop social skills by becoming involved in social groups in the local area.

“This support has helped me realise that I would like to look at a career path in furniture restoration as I enjoy bringing new life into old pieces. This business venture is one which I will share with my dad. I am feeling positive about what the future holds.”

Inclusion Works supports adults with disabilities to build employability skills and experience to be work ready, then move into a paid job, college course or volunteering on leaving. It is person-centred, encouraging and supporting individuals to design their own programmes around their needs and aspirations, building confidence and independence.