But having a learning difficulty doesn’t mean I’m not able to work. I wanted to but was so concerned. I heard stories in the media about scandals involving disabled people committing suicide after being declared fit to work and having their benefits cut.
This affected my ambition of earning a decent wage. I feared that my benefits could be cut.
However, that’s because I did not have full understanding of the benefits system. This made me feel isolated.
That’s until I joined Scope, a charity which gives disabled people a chance to look for opportunities, applying for college or looking for work.
Scope helped me find a job and assisted me into the workplace.
Now I am working part time as an office assistant at Red Brick Road, a creative agency in Clerkenwell. The organisation works with different clients, big names like Suzuki Motorcycle Company and L’Oreal, a make up company.
I do accounts, making sure the money goes to the right people, and also design posters.
Scope negotiated with my employer how much I worked and earned to ensure my benefits weren’t affected.
I work for Red Brick Road and Exposure because both these organisations are disability friendly environments in the creative industry. I hope from these opportunities that I will have more influence within the disability community.
My role at Exposure is very important, giving me an independent voice rather than relying on local authority organisations that don’t seem to have capacity to help young people like me.
Here’s my advice to young people: although we face many challenges and there are a lot of negative stories in the news that affect us, there are organisations that exist to help young disabled people become more independent and make important choice in their life, so that we don’t have to rely only on the government.
More government information on disability benefit is available here.
For advice getting paid work while on benefits visit Scope future ambitions.
Scope’s phone number: 0808 800 3333
Scope’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org