Developing Unity Works’ new UKSPF funded employment and wellbeing programme

Posted 04/04/2024

We are excited to share updates on our newly developing service made possible from UKSPF funding to address the unique challenges faced by young people with a learning disability transitioning from education.

Last week, we announced the fantastic news that Unity Works has recently been awarded UKSPF funding for a new programme to support young people with a learning disability across employment and wellbeing in London.

This programme will be seeking to reduce the pressures of unrealistic expectations put upon young people with learning disabilities which all too often leads to disengagement from education, training and employment opportunities fostering feelings of isolation and marginalization.   

Our innovative programme centres on an integrated approach that combines health and wellbeing support with guidance on career development and support for employment opportunities.   

What our team has to say about the exciting news

Unity Works’ Health and Wellbeing Manager, Laura Murphy, who will be running the project describes the model below: 

The programme offers a comprehensive package of support that will not only help young people with a learning disability to discover the possibilities that lie ahead for them, but really goes on that journey with them, empowering them to navigate the practical and emotional barriers to work that they currently experience not simply focusing on one aspect such as ‘job searching’.   

Personalised coaching sessions will explore with individuals who they are, how they feel about both the past, the present and the future.  The approach recognises that to be a young person in these times can be a whirlwind of chaos and uncertainty, but then bringing disability on board too, and the huge barriers that society puts in place for these individuals can feel incredibly daunting. This programme is about listening to the voices of our young people with a learning disability and equipping them with the skills, the confidence, the defiance in the face of societally imposed obstacles to take on the world of work and seize a future for themselves. 

Alongside the coaching sessions, individuals will have their own employment advisor to explore, guide and tailor a bespoke employment pathway that includes: building softer skills such as communication, team work, flexibility;  with group sessions focusing on developing independence skills like travel training and money management and underpinning it all; a focus on relationships and connections that are so vital to reduce isolation, be part of a community and ultimately feel valued as an individual.  We’re really quite excited about it all! 

Claire Hilton, Unity Works’ Managing Director, was asked to describe the importance of this contract both for young people with a learning disability 

People with a learning disability have long been at the back of the labour market queue and this tale starts as soon as they are born. At Unity Works we have been champions, extoling the virtues of employing people with a learning disability for over 30 years and the huge impact this untapped pool of talent can have in creating a more inclusive economy for the UK. 

Catching people when they are young is crucial in raising aspirations and expectations, challenging the negative messaging and inspiring confidence in their own abilities. 

This programme was borne out of working with some of our young people to look at what they really want and need to succeed. It doesn’t just enable us to have an impact on the individual young people we will be working with though, it will also inform wider work as part of a collective call for change. Our aim is to change the hearts and minds of employers, decision makers and the public by putting young people with a learning disability front and centre in the workplace, showcasing their immense talents and reducing the stigma around their inclusion in the workforce. 

What to join our team in delivering this programme?

We’re recruiting to the following roles as part of this progamme:

Referrals and Outreach Coordinator

Health & Wellbeing Coach 

Employment Advisor

To find out more about these roles or the programme contact Laura at

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit