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November has been a busy and productive month for me with lots of events happening in the run-up to Christmas. 

On the 8th of November, I chaired the 1st day of the Learning Disability Wales Annual Conference on ZOOM. The theme of this years conference was “We can work it out” which looked at what work, jobs and employment mean to people with a learning disability. The conference featured a week full of sessions with real-life stories and testimonials and explored lots of employment-related topics. 

On the 9th of November, I was invited to speak to a group of interns at Coleg Cymoedd who are taking part in the Engage to Change Gateway to Employment course. I told the interns about my employment journey and how being on the Engage to Change project had impacted me. In the session I also spoke to them about what I do in my role as lead ambassador. To finish I delivered one of the fun hour formats to the group in person. The fun hour went very really well, and the interns enjoyed it. As a part of the fun hour, I split the interns into two groups where they competed to win a bag of sweets and candy. The winning team decided to share out the candy which was a bonus!

On the 10th of November, I represented Engage to Change at the Learning Disability Wales Annual Conference. I explained how the project uses the job coaching method and how we support not only the young people but employers and how the project can influence change and leave a lasting legacy. The session went well and was attended by over 100 people!

On Friday the 12th of November, I chaired the last day of the LDW conference, where there was a live Q & A on Zoom. The event included a panel made up of representatives of different organisations. The audience was very interactive, and we had a lot of debates and discussions. The session was only an hour-long but covered lots of topics including inclusive education which was a big topic alongside discussion on employment.

On the 30th of November, I and my colleges Angela and Sophie attended the Engage to Change Evaluation Forum in Prestatyn in North Wales. In the forum, I was able to share my own experience of the project as well as listen to the experience of others. It was fantastic to meet up with young people on the project from around Wales and to feedback on the impact of Engage to Change. 

Spotlight on Jobcentre Plus South East Wales 

 What does the Jobcentre do?

The Jobcentre provides support for people to prepare for and find work. 

 How can the Jobcentre support people with learning disabilities and autism? 

 There are specialist work coaches called Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs) in all jobcentres that help to support people with health conditions and disabilities that include autism, learning disabilities and specific learning difficulties. All jobcentres in South East Wales are proud to be autism aware and hold the certificate from the Welsh Government National Autism Team. 

 What do Disability Employment Advisors do?

 Disability Employment Advisors support work coaches in Jobcentres to identify and tailor the right support to meet their individual needs. We are passionate about the part we play in the jobcentre ensuring equality of opportunity each customer should expect.

How can I contact my local Jobcentre?

You can find more information about finding and contacting your local JobCentre Plus via the link below.

Contact Jobcentre Plus – GOV.UK (