YOUNG people with learning disabilities have defied the odds and found employment with the help of a social enterprise charity.

Brighton-based charity Team Domenica supports young people with learning disabilities to gain the skills and build the confidence needed to find employment.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, all of the people they supported - known as 'candidates' by the charity - over the last year achieved their accredited employability qualification and are all at work.

One of those helped by the charity was Katie Goldsmith, who started a placement at the i360 and offered a paid position shortly after.

Katie said she had enjoyed having a paid job and feeling part of the team.

She said: "Working in the cade helped me get used to dealing with the public. Having a job coach helped the staff at the i360 understand my needs a bit more and helped me know that I could ask for help if I really needed it.

"I'm really happy that i am at the i360 and the staff are really friendly and helpful.

"I don't think I would have got a job without the support of Team Domenica. They have helped my confidence and made me feel that I could do a job."

A spokesman for the charity said: "Team Domenica has gone above and beyond this year and a half to ensure both our candidates and partnered employers have remained supported throughout the pandemic.

"Working extra hours and making all adjustments necessary, the team strived to ensure the candidates would have the best chances of success within the programme. The hard work has paid off.

"The great success Team Domenica has seen simply would not be possible without the phenomenal support from over 50 employment partners.

"Team Domenica is committed to their partnered employers as well as the young people they support, providing advice, training and guidance long after candidates have gained employment.

"It's the reason that over 90 per cent of their candidates' stay in their work well after their first year, compared to 20 per cent of people with learning disabilities nationally."

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