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SRSB Job Club

Photograph of previous session of Job Club

Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) is aiming to raise awareness of the talents of one part of Sheffield’s workforce that often struggles to gain employment; our visually impaired clients. We began a new Job Club at our Mappin Street Centre in April 2018.

Unemployment often has negative consequences for most people and SRSB wants to offer this service to our clients to help them expand their knowledge of the recruitment process and to develop their confidence.

Barclays, Irwin Mitchell, Gripple, Yorkshire Bank and EyeCan are just a few of the organisations who have offered their expertise in this area, and the sessions are structured around the different stages of the employment process, for example, how and where to look for jobs in the first place, creating CVs and mock interview practice, benefits checks and confidence, as well as DWP’s Access to Work scheme which funds additional costs for employers and employees.

Joanne Ardern, Deputy Manager at SRSB says “We are fortunate that we have the support of several organisations who will bring their experience to our clients, and we also hope it will be a valuable learning experience for employers too.

“RNIB report that only 27 per cent of blind and partially sighted people of working age are in employment. We want to address this and empower clients with skills to help them in the search for work at any stage of their career. Our charity is proud to have visually impaired staff, Trustees and volunteers on its team. We all want to help others to find rewarding career paths too.”

Simon Wheatcroft is a client and supporter of SRSB and is a successful blind ultramarathon runner and motivational speaker. The charity invited him to one of the sessions where they have asked a few successful visually impaired people to speak about their journeys. Simon feels so passionately about this subject that he has offered to come along to each group to support it. Simon comments, “I am always conscious of the difficulties facing the VI (visually impaired) community. The rates of employment are horribly low and something that needs addressing. It is a complicated issue with a whole host of variables at play. It is for this reason I decided to get involved to help smooth the path into work and assist people working through the friction points. I am looking forward to working with people closely to begin to address the employment rates.”

SRSB is encouraging its clients to participate in the Job Club, along with any organisations who would like to get involved, because they believe that these kind of discussions are a way forward in raising awareness of this under-used workforce with a wealth of talent to offer. If you are visually impaired and looking for work, come along, meet local employers and learn more.

The first Job Club meeting was April 11th at SRSB’s Mappin Street Centre from 7 to 9pm and will run for 8 weeks initially. However, we want to arrange other sessions in the future. Please call them on 0114 272 2757 or email for more information

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