Great British Bake Off’s Lizzie Acker becomes Steps at Strawberry Field Ambassador


Great British Bake Off's Lizzie Acker with Strawberry Field Mission Director Major Kathy Versfeld stand together smiiling
10th November, 2022

Strawberry Field is pleased to announce that this week, Great British Bake Off’s, Lizzie Acker, has been appointed an ambassador to Steps at Strawberry Field.

Lizzie Acker appeared on Season 12 of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off. On the show, she shared that she has ADHD and dyslexia, and since then she has advocated for neurodiversity to be more accepted within society.

Steps at Strawberry Field comprises four individually tailored programmes, providing employment skills, work experience, and opportunities to volunteer. The Steps to Work programme strand empowers young people with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment to develop and achieve their goals. Many of the trainees on the Steps to Work programme are neurodivergent and benefit from seeing role models such as Lizzie.

Lizzie uses her fame and social media channels to discuss her neurodiversity, believing that the more we speak about it, the more we can create a neurodiverse-friendly culture for everyone. Growing up and still living close to Strawberry Field, Lizzie Growing up and still living close to Strawberry Field, Lizzie saw the opportunity to inspire people with similar experiences and challenges to her own when growing up.

Lizzie’s appointment was announced at an event to celebrate the graduation of a recent cohort of trainees from Steps to Work, where Lizzie explained why she is keen to get involved.  She said, “Being neurodiverse often means growing up with your confidence knocked in different ways, whether it be fitting in with the kids around you because you can’t talk in groups or whether it’s in education where it feels like everyone else is five steps ahead and you feel useless. I once had a teacher tell me we all have lightbulbs in our head and some of mine just don’t work. With all these blows to confidence a lot of the time it’s really difficult to transition to a “normal” work life.

“Strawberry Field is a special place that offers personalised support through the Steps to Work scheme to give neurodiverse people aged 18-25 the skills they’ll need to find work. The graduates of the scheme break stigmas every day and normalise neurodiversity within the workplace. These are the people who should be the voice of neurodiversity and lead the change in the stereotypes that surround us.”

Major Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field is excited about the new appointment. She said, “We are delighted to welcome Lizzie Acker as ambassador for our Steps at Strawberry Field programmes. With her infectious personality, Lizzie brings so much positivity and our trainees on our programme are really inspired by her. She is a brilliant role model for neurodivergent young people and we look forward to working with her to help share positive messages about neurodiversity in the workplace.”

A group of young people holding framed certificates stand between red gates at Strawberry Field

Steps to Work consists of an eight-week work readiness course, followed by three different three-month work placements. The trainees are based at our Strawberry Field training hub in the centre of the historic grounds where John Lennon played as a child. The structured programme comprises classroom-based life skills learning, specialised sector training and work experience, giving trainees the opportunity to develop their employability and prepare themselves to look for paid employment. At the end of the Steps to Work programme, each young person will have developed their confidence, independence and other life skills as well as having the vocational experience to empower them into work.

To find out more about Steps at Strawberry Field, please visit our website: https://www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com/steps-strawberry-field

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