Our Workskills programme offers adults with disabilities the chance to learn in real, working environments. Our members can choose to work in our catering or gardening teams, alongside chefs and gardeners doing work for real customers.

Our Community Team work locally running lunch clubs for (and befriending) elderly and other disabled people.

Our production team make woodwork and crafts items that we sell in our Community Shop.

Our Community Café is a lively place where members prepare and serve meals and snacks.

Workskills runs from 9-4, Monday-Friday and members can choose whether they want to work one day a week, five days a week or anything in between.

Our members can enjoy a varied mixture from across the programme.  For example, they could choose to spend 2 days gardening and 3 days in the Community Café, or mix it up however they wish.

Our Workskills services aim to:

  • Build and maintain friendships
  • Support integration into community environments
  • Create an inclusive environment for all abilities
  • Maintain confidence and skills to use in everyday life
  • Encourage a healthy, active and fun lifestyle
  • Increase personal development
  • Allow members the opportunity to work towards AQA UAS certificates

You can access our Workskills services through:

  • Social Services
  • A friend
  • Family
  • Yourself

How you can pay:

The programme can be paid for through personal budgets, direct payments or funded yourself.

Catering

Our catering service gives you the opportunity to work in a 5* food hygiene environment. While you’re working, you’ll be preparing and serving meals for lunch clubs, preparing bespoke food orders for events (like conferences, weddings and birthday parties) ready and making jams and preserves to sell in the Community Shop and Café.

Gardening

Our gardening service involves working alongside a team of professionals to maintain gardens for local residents as well as other local companies and organisations, whilst learning all about plants and horticulture.

Production

Our production team are based in the workshop and handcraft a whole range of items – bespoke wooden garden items, candles and seasonal arts and craft produce. We sell all these items in our Community Shop and Café.

Outreach

Our Outreach community work includes serving food at lunch clubs for the elderly, hosting daytime activities for others who need disability support, attending events and becoming a part of a befriending service with local residential homes for the elderly.

Our Café

Our Community Café opened in 2014. It gives members a place to prepare and serve meals and snacks to member of the public, be taught to use a till and handle cash or even work towards a Food Hygiene certificate.

Our Shop

The About With Friends Community Shop gives our Workskills members the opportunity to serve customers in a real shop environment, learn about stock rotation, window dressing and display skills and handling cash and a till.

Just a short note to thank you all for your help with our daughter. she has spent many years at school with little improvement in her behaviour and speech, yet in just a few weeks she has been with you guys the improvements in both areas are plain to see.

I am not sure what the different methods used are but please continue as you are, as life at the moment for us as a family is greatly improved because of your input.

We are very aware of her complex needs and how she can change like the wind but we will continue to enjoy the fruits of your labours.

I always have a smile on my face after a day with the members of the team. They are all individuals and each, in their own way, bring joy to my life. They are all much appreciated and I enjoy the gardening of course!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and everyone else that supported H on the recent trip – she had an amazing time. I enjoyed look at the Twitter feed to see what you had been up to.

I’ve got my life back

Many thanks again for J’s lovely break in Derbyshire with About with Friends. He really enjoyed himself, had loads of fun and told us all about the cable cars, stepping stones, cinema, meals out, etc.! We would be very grateful if you could pass on our sincere thanks to all the staff who organised the holiday and supported our youngsters to enable them to have such a wonderful time. We are also very grateful as we, ourselves, were able to enjoy a short break in Paris, which was wonderful and recharged our batteries!

It was a massive decision for his family to make and by choosing AWF it means they trust totally in the service. I am of the opinion that AWF is the only provision in the county for D and he is very happy to attend.

Thank you for taking K to Milton Keynes on holiday, it made her extremely happy. Selfishly, it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite after 16 years of constant care.

Having spent many years in school with little improvements in I’s behaviour and speech, in just a few weeks with you the improvements in both areas are plain to see. Please continue as you are, as life at the moment for us as a family is greatly improved because of your input.

We cannot tell you what AWF means to us as a family – a lifeline, a light in the dark. Something that has offered our daughter equality, to have a social life and really support us as a family.

A big thank you to yourself and the About with Friends staff for another great trip! J had a fantastic time, going on the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which he had wanted to do for ages and ages.