Life-changing service helps the disabled

By Oxford Mail

A LIFE-CHANGING service which has helped hundreds of disabled people in Oxfordshire into employment will host a tea party to encourage more jobseekers to come forward.

OxForward, the county's employment and wellbeing service for adults with a disability, has supported more than 400 people since it launched in January last year.

The Oxfordshire County Council service, run by national employment specialists Kennedy Scott, will host the party to celebrate its success on Friday.

The event will also include employers and support services as well as employability workshops and job and volunteering opportunities for people in the community.

Teresa Scott, CEO of Kennedy Scott, said: "OxForward is a truly life-changing service, running across Oxfordshire, supporting individuals with disabilities to achieve their potential.

"The aim of the event is to highlight the success of our customers and the service so far, as well as spreading the word to reach even more people who could benefit from this kind of support."

The success of some of the 400-odd people supported by the scheme will also be celebrated at the party at Wolvercote Young People's Club.

Oxfordshire Sport and Physical Activity and The Royal Mencap Society have also helped to deliver the service and 73 per cent of those who have been supported to find work have a learning disability.

Lawrie Stratford, the county council's cabinet member for adult social care, said: " It really is an unsung service that deserves some limelight.

"They facilitate life-altering changes for people who may not otherwise get such opportunities.

"What could be better than combining a summer's afternoon and some fun with learning more about what OxForward does on a day-to-day basis for people with disabilities in Oxfordshire?"

Disabled adults can be referred either by themselves to the scheme or by GPs, district nurses, social workers, care coordinators or any other support staff.

It caters for people over the age of 18 with a range of support needs.

Friday's event will feature activities, competitions and entertainment including karaoke and prizes.

Information about local job opportunities, and chances to volunteer in the community will also be available with employers on hand to meet job hunters.

It also celebrates the national Employability Day, which will see hundreds of employment support centres across the country opening their doors and hosting parties.

The party will take place between 1pm and 4pm at Wolvercote Young People's Club in St Peter's Road on Friday.

For more telephone 01865 773578 or email