Vital service for neuro-diverse youngsters on the hunt for new staff

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Increased demand for an empowering new service aimed to boost skills and reduce anxieties of young people with neuro-diverse conditions such as Asperger’s, autism and ADHD has led to a recruitment plea.

Designed and delivered by the Donaldson Trust, #Junx10n and #JunX10n Education are support services for young people, who would describe themselves as differently-abled.

The success means The Donaldson Trust is now looking to recruit around 12 new staff and a number of new Trustees – particularly specialists in sciences, music, technology, sports and the arts.

The #Junx10n and #JunX10n Education services empower and support young people helping them to reboot their options for life, improve their wellbeing and increase their chances of achieving education or employment.

Service manager Billy Anderson said: “We’ve identified a real gap in need here and proved there is a demand for this service.

“We start by working with young people and letting them decide who they want to tbe and their life dream or vision for the future.

“We use that as a direction to help them go in - what skills and tools they need to get there and the small steps to take towards the dream.”

From marine biologists to postmen, Billy said it is about rebuilding confidence and helping the young people access practical skills for their own success.

Launched as a pilot in October 2016, #Junx10n has already supported many young people to develop their skills and improvements in self-esteem and personal growth.

The pilot has provided placements for neuro-diverse young people in West Lothian and Edinburgh Council, however, the Trust is also seeking to develop further services for neuro-diverse young people with a range of local authority partners across Scotland.

Donaldson Trust’s CEO Laura Battles said: “The launch of #Junx10n is a major development for the Trust which builds on our heritage and experience of educating and supporting young people with complex additional support needs.

“We know that many neuro-diverse young people experience significant difficulty in securing sustained further of higher education placements and/or long-term employment, which truly utilises their talents and skills.

“The first year of #Junx10n has been a really positive learning experience for all of us, and we’re truly delighted with how successful it has been. Given the increased demand for places, alongside our own ambitions to grow the service, we are now recruiting for skilled staff and Trustees with a passion for working with young adults to come and join our team.”

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