Essex Freemasons give £40,000 to help learning difficulties children into work.

A charity recently funded by a large grant from Essex Freemasons is calling on employers in Ilford, Havering and Essex to offer work experience and employment opportunities to people with learning disabilities.

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) has recently received a grant of £39,372 from the Masonic Charity Foundation to fund the World of Work Project at Little Heath School, a special school in Redbridge. The Project works with employers to create more and better opportunities for work experience while young people are still at school.

In 2011 there were 4,917 adults with learning difficulties in Redbridge, a figure expected to increase to 5,756 by 2030, most of whom being of working age. Across the UK, employment rates for people with disabilities have recently fallen from six per cent to 5.8 per cent.

The grant from the Masonic Charity Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons across England and Wales, will also provide a toolkit for employers, showing them the business benefits of employing people with learning disabilities.

Christine Burke from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities said:

‘This generous grant from the Freemasons will enable us to connect employers to Little Heath School. We know that employment is possible when partnerships are forged with schools and local employers are offered insight into the skills and talents of young people with learning disabilities.’

AsstPGM Ken Montgomery of Essex Freemasons said:

“We’re really pleased to be able to help this excellent project at Little Heath School.  Getting these children into paid employment will transform their lives. We hope that local employers will see the benefits of hiring people with learning disabilities.”