Strawberry Field Steps to Work trainees say ‘Love is All You Need’ and ‘We Can Work it Out’ as the programme becomes ‘Steps from Home’
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to change the way we work and be more creative with our resources. The Strawberry Field Steps to Work programme have responded to this challenge by creating ‘Steps from Home’.
The Strawberry Field Steps to Work programme reaches out to young adults aged 18-25 with learning difficulties or other barriers to employment through a training hub on the lower ground floor of the new Strawberry Field centre, in conjunction with work placements across the city of Liverpool. During the lockdown, keeping the trainees motivated and supported has been key for the Steps to Work team, alongside continuing the sense of belonging they have worked so hard to create.
In the first couple of weeks of social distancing, a series of activities were planned including virtual exercising, reflective quotes and sharing happy memories. The group proved popular and technology allowed the informal ‘keeping in touch’ to turn into ‘Steps from Home’. Each day, the trainees are invited to log on to Zoom and spend up to an hour interacting with each other and the Steps to Work team. Session are structured to include wellbeing activities, quizzing, ‘Strawberry Field‘s got talent’ and messages of hope and reflection.
So far the team have encouraged trainees to make self-soothing boxes, use colouring to be creative, and engage in online lessons on how to draw cartoons. They are encouraged to be themselves and ‘Strawberry Field’s got talent’ has seen entrants playing the piano and trombone, showing how to make tuna pasta and singing songs.
With four separate cohorts of trainees, ‘Steps from Home’ is allowing trainees the opportunity to socialise together. They look forward to these sessions, finding they break up their day and offer encouragement and support.
The iconic red gates of Strawberry Field opened to the public in 2019 for the very first time. The new centre is home to a visitor exhibition, community café, shop, gardens and - at its heart – the ‘Steps to Work’ programme, which continues the legacy of caring for young people in the local community. All profits from the vibrant visitor experience help fund the Steps to Work programme, with further support for the programme coming through public fundraising activities, volunteering, sponsoring a trainee or the offering of work placements.
Nationally, only between 6% and 7% of working age adults with learning disabilities are in paid employment and opportunities are limited. Steps to Work broaches these obstacles for every young person they work with, supporting them to reach their full potential.
For more information on how you can support, visit: www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com