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News & Features - March 2013

The Big Bike Ride - The Sequel

Monday 18th March 2013

The Big Bike Ride - BARCELONA to Kidderminster April 2013

In 2009, they cycled from Land's End to John O’Groats to raise money for The Emily Jordan Foundation. FOUR YEARS ON , Chris and Alex Jordan are preparing for an even greater challenge - 1100 miles from BARCELONA to Kidderminster

The monies raised in 2009 helped buy a unit, where today 40 young people with moderate learning disabilities learn new skills to help them to enter the workplace. This is currently done utilising bikes donated by the public that the young people repair, rebuild, photograph and sell from the website or to people coming into the unit. They are fully involved in the business!

The Foundation also operates, in conjunction with Kidderminster College,‘The Route to Work Diploma’, which focusses on Employability skills. This year’s money will be used to start new projects, including wood manufacturing, gardening and IT skills that are close to commencing.

If you would like to sponsor Alex please visit:
www.justgiving.com/AlexandChristopher-Jordan

Background

The Emily Jordan Foundation was set up by Emily’s family and friends as a lasting legacy to her, after she died in April 2008 whilst river boarding in New Zealand. Emily had spent a lot of time with her older brother Alex and his friends, all of whom have different degrees of learning disabilities. She understood thedifficulties they encountered and worked with them as part of a local voluntary group called Wyre Forest LAFS (Learn, Achieve, Fun, Socialise) and also helped to start Spokes CIC. It was therefore a fitting and logical development to set up a Foundation in Emily’s name. This was established in May 2008, and became registered as a Charity on the 6th August 2008. After many fundraising events by many people and with a grant contribution, a unit was purchased in Kidderminster in April 2010.

The Foundation Aim

To help individuals with moderate learning and physical disabilities to lead fulfilled lives The Foundation now offers training with the aim of eventual employment, where individuals can participate in manufacturing to a high quality level, but within their own ability. As opportunities arise to enter the workplace these can be pursued, but if these do not work out, the Foundation will still supply a quality environment for these individuals to continue to develop their skills.

The objectives

1) It is vital, if these individuals are going to be able to enter the workplace, that they do not ‘lose’ the discipline they gained from school or college - getting up in the morning, making themselves look presentable, and getting to the workplace on time. At the two Foundation enterprises, Spokes and Twigs, the horticultural project, we ensure that these disciplines are maintained and developed.

2) The individuals with moderate learning disabilities who come to the unit have many positive abilities that can be developed. We aim to identify these to enable these individuals to eventually obtain employment. This allows them to contribute to society like everyone else.
A win-win situation!

3) Our absolute belief is that any social enterprise or charity in today’s society needs to be able to generate a substantial percentage of its income from its own manufactured product. This is a model that we have pursued at Spokes CIC, where a significant amount of the income required by the operation is generated from its bike and maintenance sales, bike club and college courses. Twigs also pursues this model with gardening and ground maintenance projects. We aim to minimise the overheads of the Foundation to ensure that the proceeds can finish in the right place - with the individuals with learning disabilities who are doing the work!

4) The individuals who come to the unit become involved in the total running of the operation. They are learning very useful ‘employability’ skills for the future. We aim to involve the individuals within the operation in all aspects of running a business. This includes manufacturing and selling the products, bookkeeping, and management decisions.

5) All too often these individuals with moderate learning disabilities spend their lives doing ‘work experience’ tasks, with no pay. We aim to try and pay them some monies for the work they do, from the generated income we receive. This is vital for their self esteem, and enables them to look forward positively to a future of employment. It is what it is all about!

For more information visit: www.theemilyjordanfoundation.org.uk
or email: info@theemilyjordanfoundation.org.uk
The Emily Jordan Foundation is a registered Charity. Number: 1125382

 

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