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Project leads

The project leads for the Getting a Life project in Somerset were Richard Salkeld and Pam Pascoe.  For more information about transition for young people with learning disabilities in Somerset after March 2011, please contact [email protected]

Our Achievements - January 2010

From Person-Centred Reviews to Strategic Change

discussion groupA group of people from the Somerset Getting a Life cross-agency project team met on 11th December 2009 to look at what young people with learning disabilities involved in the Getting a Life programme were saying in their person centred reviews, and how these messages could be used to change the way local and national services are commissioned and delivered.


Step 1: The group split up and looked at young people’s person work groupcentred reviews.  They looked at what people said about what’s working, what’s not working and what is important to them for the future about employment.  They identified the messages which were mentioned by lots of young people.


Step 2: The group got back together and chose the top 3 most important points for each section (working, not working, important to for the future) based on what young people had said most often in their reviews.  They thought about the possible reasons for what the young people said.


Step 3: Where things were working for a young person, they thought about how they could make this happen for others.


Step 4: The group talked what the young people’s comments mean for local services and national policy.

Step 5: The group listed action points for the project team, so that changes start to happen in the local area for young people going through transition.








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Oliver's story

As part of the Getting a Life leadership programme, Oliver (15) and his family started to think about who could help him get a job and a good life once he leaves school. Through setting up this “circle of support”, they realised that a friend of the family who owned a salon could offer Oliver some work experience. For the last few months, Oliver has been working in the salon, for an hour a week on Thursday or Friday evenings, sweeping up, sorting out the curlers into colours and sizes, folding towels and washing up, and even practicing washing someone’s hair. In return for his time, Oli gets a free haircut every few weeks.

Oliver with his family and his plan
Oliver with his family an plan
The family has now started to think about planning and preparing for the future – Oliver now knows that he does not want to be a hairdresser but has gained experience that he is going to use to create a CV and to talk to other young people at his school about what he has learnt.

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Clare's story

Clare is 18 and as part of the Getting a Life leadership programme, took part in a day of individual planning with her family and one of the programme leaders from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities. During the planning day, everyone found out lots of things about Clare – including that she loves animals and already has responsibility for looking after the chickens her family keeps.

Clare at home, with her plan for the future
Clare planning for the future
Since the planning meeting took place, Clare’s mum approached her school about work experience, and Clare now has a work experience placement at a local museum. In addition, Clare is gaining more experience of working with animals, grooming horses at a stable, and with a cat breeder helping to feed their cats.

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Pelham's story

Pelham, a 19-year old living with his family in Somerset, has a passion for black and white films, and for marionette puppets. He knows he doesn’t want to do an office job when he leaves school, so at an individual planning session with Pelham, his mum and his transition worker, they thought about the next steps for how Pelham could turn his interests into a business opportunity.

Pelham with one of his marionette puppets
Pelham with his marionette puppets

Pelham is going to do some research about producing and mending marionettes, so that he can decide whether to pursue this as an opportunity for self-employment.

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