We currently have 100 students attending each week, from across the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire, which is recognized as one of the most socially, economically and environmentally deprived areas in the county, nationally and indeed in Europe.We are an approved training provider in our own right with OCN Eastern Region, delivering programs such as independent living skills and employability skills. However, learning is focused on personal progression, not just on qualifications. Our students are encouraged to learn in a way which suits their individual needs and at their own pace. Some students progress to doing voluntary work or work experience placements, whilst others use our supportive environment to increase their levels of self-confidence etc. We normally work on a 1:4 ratio, but we can provide 1:1 support if required. In addition to our work as a training provider, we are a provider of social care, and are proud of our commitment to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
The work to establish a social training enterprise in Fenland started in July 2001, with the formation of a Partnership and Steering Group, with membership at senior management level being drawn from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Learning Disability Partnership, The Papworth Trust, Fenland District Council, Speaking Up and Cambridgeshire ACRE.
Over time FACET has developed a range of accredited and vocational training programmes, supported by the provision of work experience and training placements in community-based enterprises which exist under the organisation’s umbrella, and include a horticultural project, a woodworking enterprise, 4 Charity shops all known as ‘FACET Homes and Gardens’ and a small catering training enterprise. All of these enterprises offer considerable scope for future growth and through these, disadvantaged individuals have been able to gain new skills and undertake work experience and voluntary work placements, which in some cases have led to paid employment.
FACET also supports students who wish to move into supported living from the family home. The support involves liaising with parents and all agencies involved as well as enabling the student to take this step.
One student lived at home in poor conditions and wanted to move into his own accommodation. FACET staff were able to support him while he waited for his new home to become available then liaised with the family and different agencies to work towards a smooth transition. He has now developed the confidence to realise that he does not get everything wrong, that he has a role to play in the community and that he is able to achieve his goals in life. He has since achieved an accredited qualification with FACET and is looking forward to the rest of his life.