Matthew was pleased to attend a course run by The Larches Trust to help local people in their training for employment. Sitting in on a class that will lead to a NVQ in Ground Maintenance, Matthew saw for himself the experience participants are taken through. The Larches Community, which is based in Edgware, is a registered charity established in 1995 by a group of families to create opportunities for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
Many adults with 'higher functioning' autism and Aspers syndrome are of substantial intellect and ability but have complex barriers that need to be overcome before they can successfully enter employment. Many of these stem from the disability itself, which is characterised by impaired communication and imaginative ability. Yet these very people have a great deal to offer employers and can, with the right support, have successful careers.
Matthew said, “This project is the real 'Big Society' in action. The Larches Trust is not an extension of the state, does not provide services because they have a Service Level Agreement with the Council and does not expect a grant in these cash-strapped times. Instead they make things happen themselves and I will be drawing The Larches to the attention of the Prime Minister and the Government as an example of how we need to put in place the systems so that other such organisations can flourish.”
Photo: Matthew is pictured with Adam and George, participants in the project, and Howard Lanning - Chairman and Trustee of the Larches Trust.