We commissioned an independent evaluation to explore the experiences of two groups we funded
– Heart n Soul and Spare Tyre – which both aimed to secure paid employment in the creative sector for people with learning disabilities. The evaluation (carried out by Cambridge Policy Consultants) took place over a two-year period and provides case studies of each company. The evaluation included an exploration of the similarities and differences between the two programmes to help understand the critical factors that contributed to beneficiary trainees being able to access paid employment in the creative sector. Key findings of the report include:
- The projects were successful in supporting more than 40 people with learning disabilities (PWLD), of which 7 in 10 (28 individuals) had a work placement in the arts and creative sector and 3 in 10 (15 individuals) secured freelance paid work.
- Through the work, employers improved their understanding of the needs of learning disabled people, including how best to communicate and approach new topics.
- Employers became more aware of the additional resources required when employing a learning disabled person.
- Maintaining the skills acquired during the projects is important if the results are to be sustainable. In the absence of repetition, it is unclear whether the skills and development will be sustained by the individual.