Launch a charity for autistic adults in MK
The knowledge and talents of thousands of adults with autism are wasted because they lack the social and communication skills to get by in the workplace. In Milton Keynes, there is a huge gap in support for adults with autism who do not have a learning disability. Without support, unemployment, isolation and mental health problems are commonplace in this group of people.
We would like to provide a service that would encourage those with particular talent or skill to develop it, by providing a supportive, comfortable, environment. There would be a manager who would enable them to sell their produce online or elsewhere.
To get Talent Unlimited MK off the ground, we need £5000 to apply for charitable status, of which we’ve raised £1000 already. Please donate as much as you can to help us reach our £4000 target.
What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The lack of employment services for Autistic adults who do not have a learning disability, so do not meet Local Authority’s threshold for services within Milton Keynes and elsewhere in the UK. Austerity is making previously patchy services worse and improvements unlikely in the short term. Our target group can also have huge problems getting appropriate benefits and keeping them.
The workplace can be a very stressful environment for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum, without considerable understanding and reasonable adjustments, placements will fail. The support required is very specialised, requiring a great deal of understanding of general Autistic and individual differences.
It is not uncommon for these people to gain work but to find the workplace unsuitable and very stressful so their employment is not sustainable. A cycle of employment and unemployment usually results in heightened anxiety levels, depression and lack of self-esteem and sometimes a total loss of confidence to go back into the workplace.
Sadly when employment is successful and sustained it is often in roles well below the individual’s expertise and does not use their often considerable talents in IT, Design, Art, Training etc.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Of the estimated 700.000 adults on the autistic spectrum only 15% are in full time employment
1 in 3 adults on the autistic spectrum have or develop severe mental health problems.
Milton Keynes is a city of nearly 260.000 persons an estimated 1.5% (current national estimate) of these will be on the autistic spectrum, a rough estimation of % of population who are of working age is 60% so there are approximately 150,000 people of working age in MK so if approximately 1.5% are on the autistic spectrum there should be about 2,250 adults of working age on the spectrum in MK nearly 2,000 of whom are not in full time employment.
What is your solution?
Talent Unlimited MK aim is to provide an appropriate environment (hub) in the MK area, to enable adults on the autistic spectrum to market their personal talents and expertise.
We will be membership led and have autistic people at the core of our organisation. Everything we will do will be based on best practice for individuals on the spectrum, something other work places generally do not have the knowledge, time or understanding to provide.
We will work very hard to help every adult who joins us to meet their own employment and social potential, thus improving their self-esteem and well-being.
How will you deliver this?
Talent Unlimited MK hopes to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation CIO which will enable the organisation to bid for contracts and grants etc. Talent Unlimited MK’s aim is to become self-sustaining in the longer term, gaining income from our membership’s marketed talents and expertise.
We will establish a hub in Milton Keynes and employ a manager who will develop personal plans to maximum talent, expertise and potential.