The need for Team Domenica
Just 5.1% of people with learning disabilities are employed in England (Mencap 2022). Far too many are missing out on the basic right to aspire to a career, along with the wider social networks, better emotional and physical health, and increased independence that comes from having a job. They share the same aspirations as everyone else and they want nothing more than the opportunity to demonstrate their full potential.
At Team Domenica, we strongly believe that young people with learning disabilities have the right to work, to lead fulfilling and purposeful lives, to have their individual gifts and talents recognised, and to feel included as valued members of society.
What we’re doing is working. Since opening an amazing 81% of our candidates have moved into paid employment through our Supported Internship Programme.
We believe that we are at the forefront of a movement that leads to real change in the lives of people with learning disabilities and the way they are perceived by employers and society as a whole. In this short film, our Founder Rosa Monckton MBE explains why she set up Team Domenica.
Becoming a Specialist Further Education College
After seven years of work in our growing community, we have established ourselves as a leading provider of support and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities in Sussex.
Following a visit from the Department for Education in March 2023, Team Domenica became a Specialist Further Education College – an independent education provider in our own right; no longer reliant on other institutions.
This move has required a great deal of effort and new resources, to both manage the process and to begin the initiatives that demonstrate our suitability. Thankfully, our staff, candidates, Trustees and Senior Leadership Team have been more than capable of executing the necessary steps.
This transition has encouraged a wealth of improvements in our programme delivery, quality of education, organisational structure and governance, driven by an array new policies and procedures. These have all been written to suit the focus of our work, putting the young adults we support at their centre.
Our transformative objectives
Young people with learning disabilities will have improved workplace knowledge and employability skills.
Partnered employers will feel more confident in providing work experience, supported internships and paid employment to young people with learning disabilities.
Young people with learning disabilities will have increased opportunities to gain and sustain work.
Young people with learning disabilities will have increased independence, confidence, and wellbeing.
Young people with learning disabilities will feel less isolated and better connected to their local community.
Drawing on the spirit of our name we knew that teamwork would be the key to updating our vision and lived values.
In spring 2023, beginning with our candidates, we approached their parents and carers, our partners and staff to find out what they considered our values to be, based on their experiences. After several exercises we are delighted to showcase the results.
Our vision is for all people with learning disabilities to be valued in the workplace, to thrive in life, and feel included as members of society.
How we get there? We create bright futures for young people with learning disabilities through education, personalised employment programmes and community partnerships, that increase independence and create pathways to work.
Our organisational values are the common threads that everyone involved with Team Domenica experiences day-to-day. They are also our strengths, helping us to fulfil our transformative objectives and vision.
We value positive relationships because …
We know that friendships, mutual support and a sense of belonging are important for everyone, be that our candidates, their families, our team, employer partners or wider community.
We value building confidence because …
We experience increased independence and a boost in confidence by being able to try new things and being trusted to apply our learnings.
We value feeling happy because …
We have fun while learning and feel happy to be part of Team Domenica as well as the opportunities that we create together in the workplace and beyond.
We value growing skills because …
We enjoy a variety of training and interactions that build our work and social skills. Most importantly, we don’t give up when things are hard – we just find another way.
We value an inclusive community because …
We should feel safe to be ourselves. Our collective actions shape an inclusive environment at Team Domenica and within the community. We celebrate differences and show that with the right support, all of us can contribute and succeed.
We value a bright future because …
Team Domenica is a journey towards a bright future, where we all have the chance to feel welcomed and lead happy, fulfilled lives.
Our Leadership Team
Our Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team continue to guide our strategy, development in curriculum and policies, our organisational structure and governance practices.
Our trustees – profiled below – are elected in three year terms.