ubu applauds the sentiment behind Responsible Business Week.It calls on all businesses to assess how they act ethically and through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. It is in keeping with the ubu ethos of working to help all those we serve to achieve their own life goals to become the people they want to be.
Business has a significant role to play in this too. Many ubu consumers have therapeutic work places in their local communities making a valuable contribution to business, its culture, growth and development.
Far sighted innovative organisations see past any immediate challenge that a person with learning difficulties or who presents challenging behaviour has. They recognise that each person has a valid contribution to make and that in the right environment, with the correct support, guidance and training, can acquire the skills for the job.
ubu consumers have therapeutic job roles in diverse industries ranging from dog walking, car washing, manufacturing, service, hospitality and commercial. They have successfully completed training and gained qualifications in first aid, catering, retail and horticulture.
But it isn’t just our consumers who have reaped the employment premium. The organisations they work for have gained from it too!
Simon lives locally and works for a horticultural company. He loves his job because it is something he is genuinely interested in and the company has invested in training him so he can develop as an employee in therapeutic employment. It has also played a significant part in his move towards greater independent living. Simon is supported by ubu’s uStep model that has given him his own home, but the additional things that give his life real meaning, like his therapeutic job, his friends and his own space with specialised support.
ubu was set up to provide vulnerable adults, including the most complex cases with an opportunity to live with greater independence. Therapeutic apprenticeships are a key component of that equation which as we are increasingly discovering benefits both team members and the organisation they work for.
If nothing else comes out of Responsible Business Week 2014 then I hope it is that more employers realise the benefit to their bottom line those members of our community who are vulnerable, such as those we support, can add.