Big expansion underway for Honiton health organisation

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 August 2018

Kara Marshall and Lesley Barker (L).

Kara Marshall and Lesley Barker (L).

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A Honiton organisation which supports adults with learning disabilities has revealed it is set for a big expansion.

Ollie Dixon (middle right) and Paul Anderson celebrate the merger with Kara Marshall and Lesley Barker.Ollie Dixon (middle right) and Paul Anderson celebrate the merger with Kara Marshall and Lesley Barker.

My Support and Care Services Ltd, which operates in High Street, is in the process of entering into a share-buy with another Honiton organisation - Independence Enabling Ltd, today (Monday, August 13).

The move will also see My Support and Care Services create a new charity called Creative Opportunities for Independence (COFI).

Lesley Barker, director of My Support and Care Services, said: “The plan is that COFI is going to create supported employment opportunities for our users and people with learning disabilities in the community.

“We are going to take over the shop at Independence Enabling and have a workshop at the back where people can upcycle furniture and make handmade jewellery and gifts.

Members and staff at My Support and Care Services Ltd and Independence Enabling Ltd.Members and staff at My Support and Care Services Ltd and Independence Enabling Ltd.

“They will be sold in the shop and there will be a profit share for the people who have worked on the items.”

Lesley said the enterprise will allow people to develop skills and experience the process of running a whole shop, albeit with support.

The project will also be supported by charity Hospiscare, which is where the organisation will source the furniture for upcycling.

Lesley said the venture will allow adults with learning disabilities to showcase their full potential and get on the right track to securing paid work.

Lesley Barker and Kara Marshall (L) deputy manager at Independence Enabling Ltd.Lesley Barker and Kara Marshall (L) deputy manager at Independence Enabling Ltd.

She added: “In my opinion, there isn’t enough opportunity or willing employers to allow people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential.

“We feel that many employers are missing out on what would be valuable employees.”

The organisation’s High Street HQ will also offer social activities for adults and children with learning disabilities.

The activities will be open to all and aim to meet the social needs of Honiton’s community of people with learning disabilities and increase independence and knowledge through workshops.

Ollie Dixon, a user of Independence Enabling, said: “I’m very excited by what’s happening – there will be more activities and holidays for us to enjoy.”

Paul Anderson, one of COFI’s trustees, and a service user of My Support and Care Services, added: “I am happy to be part of this company because of the opportunities it has provided me with.”

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