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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Getting a job and volunteering for young people aged 16 to 25 with SEND

What's good about having a job

Having a job allows you to:

  • earn money
  • be independent
  • feel valued
  • make friends

Watch Mencap's video about the benefits of having a job; what having a job means to me:

What having a job means to me video from Mencap.
What having a job means to me video from Mencap.

Everyone should be able to have a job

Everyone should be able to have a job. With the right support this should be a positive experience.

The benefits of having a job should be available for most people. We know paid work might not be an option for a small number of people with the most complex needs.

A job can mean having a role within your community, such as helping other people with tasks such as:

  • shopping
  • gardening
  • taking out the recycling
  • helping at a local park or visitor centre

If you need support to do a job or role within your community you may be able to use a personal budget to arrange this. You could get a personal budget if you receive one of the following:

Find more information in our independent living section.

Talking about your job options at school or college

Schools and colleges should tell you about the different options you can choose from. These discussions should start in year 9. Find out more about the pathway to adulthood for a young person with an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Finding work

You can get help to find work:

Find out how other young people in Dorset have found work and volunteering.

Volunteer to develop your skills

Volunteering can help you learn the skills you need to find paid work. You don't get paid to volunteer and it shouldn't affect your benefits.

Find more information about volunteering and how it might affect your benefits from Scope.

Volunteering is a great way to:

  • get a reference to help with getting paid work
  • make friends
  • learn new skills for work
  • do something positive for your community

Find volunteering opportunities in Dorset

Volunteering Dorset

Find information about Volunteering Dorset and how they can help you find a work placement.

Volunteering Dorset run a Community Credits Scheme where you earn a credits for every hour you volunteer. You can use these credits for things like paying towards a taxi fare or a coffee in a local cafe. Find out more in this 5 minute video from Volunteering Dorset:

Video about volunteering in Dorset and the Community Credits Scheme.
Video about volunteering in Dorset and the Community Credits Scheme.

Livability Holton Lee 

Holton Lee has opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

What support you can get on a volunteering placement

If you're disabled, your rights are protected under the Equalities Act 2010. This means an organisation should not discriminate against you based on your disability and should consider how they can make reasonable adjustments to accommodate you in a volunteer placement. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has information on how organisations should treat volunteers.

Find more volunteering opportunities on:

Funding for students with a disability

If you're a young person with a disability or health condition and are on, or about to start a work experience placement in a support internship or traineeship, you can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions' Access to Work fund for:

  • funding travel to and from your work placement
  • the cost of job coaches
  • specialist equipment for days that you're at the employer's workplace
  • mental health support

Preparing for Adulthood has more information about the Access to Work support.

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