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.

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.

AWF offers and amazing, caring, supportive group to both special needs adults/children & their families. Since N joined you he has been to some fantastic places, met some amazing friends and done activities we would never have thought he’d do. You have helped our family life improve by making N a happier, more content, confident boy.

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.

This is the best transition I have had for a student in the whole five years I have taught 6th formers!

About with Friends and you particularly, have done some great work with excellent outcomes for D. I was particularly pleased to hear that you are working on integration with the Youth Group as I felt he would miss out on peer interaction if he didn’t come to college.

After 30 years of trying to get P engaged in activities, he is now, under your care, beginning to grow like a great Oak tree.

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.

I just cannot thank you enough for taking K my daughter so that she could have fun with her friends on holiday in Milton Keynes, […] it made her extremely happy.

Selfishly for me it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite exhausted after 16 years of constant care. Complete respite is dependent upon the knowledge that your child is in safe professional caring hands. The ‘about with friends’ staff impress me because they display such enthusiastic vocational attitudes towards their care.

Over the last five years I have had a fortnightly, 2 hour designated gardening slot. I highly value your service and ethos.