Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Learning disability business pilot hailed a success

Dolphin's DenA pilot project that aims to support people with a learning disability and autism to set up their own business or community project celebrated it successes recently.

Dolphins’ Den saw participants in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire attend three business workshops organised by learning disability charity Thera Trust, and then receive mentoring over the summer from local business people.

Overall, 20 local people with a learning disability or autism took part in the project and many are now looking to set up their own businesses and community projects. These include a carpentry business, a community café, the ‘Read and Wright’ book shop and a creative artwork business.

The participants, their families, staff and mentors came together to celebrate the success of the project at a recent event at the University of Gloucester. Participants presented their ideas and received certificates in recognition of their efforts.

Dolphins’ Den was set up by Andrew Bright, learning and development consultant at Thera Trust. It was born out of Bright’s passion for supporting other people with a learning disability to become independent and his desire for people to have the opportunity to develop their ideas into sustainable business or community projects.

Keith Bates, from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, presented the certificates to participants. He said: “It was a privilege to present the certificates at the Dolphins’ Den event. I was delighted to meet the entrepreneurs and witness the real boost that the programme has given everybody involved.”

Bright added: “This project is so much more than creating businesses; it has helped people build their confidence, self-esteem and show them what they can achieve. I am proud to be associated with it.”

To find out more about the project, go to: www.thera.co.uk/dolphinsden

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