We are a social enterprise charity. Our aim is to help young adults with learning disabilities find and retain employment, and with this a sense of direction, purpose and belonging, in their local community.

The
Charity

Our
Story

Our Trustee & Founder Rosa Monckton whose younger daughter, Domenica, has Down’s Syndrome, started the registered charity to meet the needs of learning disabled young adults whose greatest challenge is to find regular employment.

Domenica was Princess Diana’s last godchild, and Rosa passionately promotes the late Princess’s belief that “everybody needs to be valued and everyone has the potential to give something back”. Yet research shows that there are approximately 1.5 million people in the UK with learning disabilities and that young adults within this group are faced with less than a 6% chance of finding employment after leaving education. Over 65% of people with learning disabilities want to work, yet there is no sustainable way for them to enter the workforce; making them lonely, isolated and depressed. It was clear to Rosa that Team Domenica’s mission would be to remove barriers, change society's attitudes, influence people who shape policy and practice, all to empower and directly support more individuals to lead fulfilled lives.

We now have a three-storey building in central Brighton which houses our Training Centre, Training Café ('Café Domenica) and Employment Agency, launched by the actress Julie Walters in September 2016. We already have 21 candidates in placements completing bespoke and comprehensive supported employment programmes. We are unique within the community in the breadth of support we provide to the young adults, offering guidance and companionship to combat loneliness, and in making a contribution to society.

The plan is to open other centres across the South Coast, and then nationally. The aim is to transform the lives of the learning disabled.

About
Us

Our
Team

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    Rosa Monckton
    Founder & Trustee

    Rosa is a British businesswoman and charity campaigner. Chief Executive of Tiffany’s in London from opening in 1986, Chief Executive of Asprey & Gerrard in 2000, then becoming non-executive chairman in 2002. Rosa is now a non-executive director of Aurum, which is the holding company for Goldsmith, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland.
    Rosa is passionate about supporting people with learning disabilities and over the years has been involved with several charities including Together for Short Lives,
    The Acorns Children’s Hospice, Downside UP, The Down’s Syndrome Educational Trust, KIDS (charity) and ulgarian Abandoned Children’s Trust.

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    Martin Armstrong
    Co-Founder & Trustee

    Martin founded Armstrong International in 1989, and has since spearheaded its expansion into one of the City’s leading privately-held search businesses. His first client was SG Warburg, and Armstrong International has cultivated this relationship throughout the merchant bank’s transformation into today’s powerhouse: UBS.
    Martin is recognised as among the best-connected and most knowledgeable specialists in the financial services industry. He has leveraged his unrivalled contacts and experience to place former prime ministers and many top CEOs and he also works as a personal career adviser to many other business leaders. An entrepreneur, he has launched and backed several other businesses specialising in human capital. These include Somerton Partners, Europe’s first advisory business that manages the careers of CEOs of large multinational companies and Armstrong Bonham Carter, which specialises in corporate governance and the careers of Non-Executive Directors.

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    Philip Prettejohn
    Trustee

    Philip is a senior partner at the London office who specialises in international tax planning for individuals and substantial family trusts. During his career, he has given advice on UK and international taxation, trust and financial matters to a wide range of wealthy individuals, families and private companies. His principal area of expertise remains advising UK and international clients on UK taxation and the protection of wealth. Committed to global conservation, Philip dedicates considerable time to Fauna & Flora International, a UK charity which operates in over forty countries, of which he is a trustee and sits on the executive committee. He has joined the Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Conservation as a trustee with a particular interest in its opportunities for conservation through the resolution of conflict.

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    Rory Tapner
    Trustee

    Rory is a British businessman. He is the former CEO of RBS Coutts Bank Ltd. Prior to this, he was Chairman and CEO Asia Pacific at UBS AG.

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    Lisa Campbell - Squires
    Head Teacher

    Head teacher Lisa has over 25 years of SEN teaching experience. Her high level of expertise was gained through working in several inclusive provisions for students with speech, language and communication needs, autistic spectrum conditions and dyslexia. Prior to joining us at Team Domenica Lisa also worked at Downs View Link College, teaching 16-19 year olds with SLD, MLD, PMLD, ASD, attachment disorder and other complex needs. She taught life skills, communication and social skills alongside the educational curriculum. To create specialised programmes tailored to each individual, she works collaboratively with a host of other professionals including SLTs, OTs, social workers, nurses, music therapists, art therapists, educational psychologists and counsellors. She has also taught in the home environment, working closely with families and other healthcare professionals to provide bespoke specialist education for young adults with a learning disability. This integrated approach meant that they could be reconnected with their local communities and schools. As a volunteer for various local charities for young adults with a learning disability, Lisa worked on an array of creative projects promoting independence and self-advocacy whilst building self-confidence. Drawing on all her varied experience, Lisa provides a bespoke employment programme for our candidates here at Team Domenica which not only prepares them for work but also develops their capacity to lead happy fulfilled lives in the wider community.

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    Diana Purdie
    Teacher

    Diana worked in the University of London Careers Advisory Service, then as a computer programmer before training to be a teacher. She has over twenty years of teaching experience in subjects including Science, Health & Social Care and Food Technology, and most recently delivering the ASDAN Certificate in Employability to sixth form students with learning disabilities. She also brings valuable experience of running a small business and café to the team.

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    Liam Smith
    Teacher

    Liam studied Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Northampton University and has written professional research papers on low unemployment rates for young adults with SEN and improvements through education. He has a vast amount of care and education experience working with adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN) before joining Team Domenica.

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    Dawn Adams
    Teacher

    Dawn began her career as a primary school teacher, during which time she developed a passion for teaching children with a range of special needs and learning disabilities. She later had the opportunity to support in the Food Technology and Design & Technology department at a local secondary school and most recently worked as a teacher in the Circle Project, which supported and taught students with a variety of complex needs. She delivered all curriculum subjects and prepared multi-sensory resources for subject support, developing new and personalised programmes for the teaching and learning of Maths, including the delivery and assessment of Entry Level qualifications and Life Skills.

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    Kate Payne
    Teaching Assistant

    Kate provides specialist support to our candidates, helping them to reveal hidden talents, develop skills and express themselves through creativity. Whilst having widespread experience in working with people with learning disabilities, she also has a background in teaching the violin and playing with various bands and orchestras.

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    Esther McKay
    Development Director

    Prior to joining Team Domenica Esther has worked for many years as a Sales and Operations Director.
    Her previous experience includes strategic planning at a company level (UK and European wide), staff management, organisation development and initiating, overseeing and supporting start-ups.

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    Daina Joblin-Hall
    Training Cafe Manager

    Born in New Zealand, Daina grew up in a big family of nine children, with two girls who have down syndrome, in an open house for children with learning disabilities.
    She has previously worked as a carer in New Zealand, a personal carer to Domenica, and has worked in cafes and Restaurants in New Zealand, Australia and London. With her combined care and hospitality experience Daina provides exceptional support to our candidates who are gaining practical work experience within our Training Café.

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    Jo Cook
    Fundraising & Marketing Manager

    Having previously worked in the employee benefits industry, Jo has an extensive knowledge of workplace health and wellbeing consultancy. With strengths in relationship management and communications, Jo is passionate about driving positive change, through the development of innovative fundraising and marketing strategies.

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    Danielle Dodd
    Centre Administrator

    Danielle was born in Australia and spent her early career in fashion and retail management. She spent 12 years working in the film industry in London, and then opened her own cafe and retail store in Brighton gaining full knowledge of Food Safety & Hygiene standards and hospitality. Danielle is highly skilled in organisation and takes a creative approach to problem solving. She is mother of two girls and has a niece with severe learning disabilities enabling her to support to our candidates on a more personal level.

Our
Partnerships

Team Domenica are delivering a supported employment course in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College. We also work with a number of local businesses and charities within the Brighton Community.

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Brighton Metropolitan College CEO Nick Juba says: “City College is proud to be working with Team Domenica to help create opportunities for our Foundation students to gain employment following their achievements at college. We’re delighted to be part of this new project, and wish them every success.”

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“We are delighted to continue our journey with Team Domenica as we move from work experience to employment and we hope for continued success with the Team.”

 

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“We are extremely proud to be working with Team Domenica in helping their students gain valuable work experience here at Posh Totty Designs. We work at providing relevant projects that allow the students the opportunity to plan and prioritise their work and to develop together as a team.  All the students we have encountered are a joy to work with and we are happy to provide as much experience as possible.”

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“It is a pleasure to work with Team Dominica, giving students the opportunity to gain work experience and practise skills learnt in the class room”

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“Hurst College is delighted to be working with Team Domenica. By offering work placements to local young adults with learning difficulties we hope not only to enrich their lives, but also the lives of our pupils as they continue to develop a sense of community responsibility. We are so pleased we have been able to support Team Domenica’s unique project.”

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“Rathfinny Wine Estate is delighted to be working with Team Domenica to help give experience in the work place to their students”

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“We have really enjoyed having Ben with us and he has become a valued part of the team here at Ricochet. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Team Domenica in future.”

Our
Donors

Thank
You

Our donors, charitable trusts and foundations; without whom this would not have been possible. We also thank all those who contributed through our 'Just Giving' page and have made donations through our 'Virgin Money Giving' platform. From £3 donations to £5,000, every single pound helps us in our aim to get people with learning disabilities into employment.

  • Big Lottery Fund

  • Lund Trust, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing

  • Street Foundation

  • David and Sarah Kowitz

  • Martin Armstrong

  • The Sharp Foundation

  • Yan d’Auriol

  • Suzy and John Lewis

  • The Goldsmiths’ Company

  • Stephen Macklow-Smith

  • Rothschild Foundation

  • Sir David Tang

  • James Seuss

  • Jane Vizard

  • Baroness Altman

  • Lowy Denes Charitable Foundation

  • Pebble Brook School

  • Sussex Community Foundation

  • The Polonsky Foundation

  • The Monday Charitable Trust

  • The Tanlaw Foundation

  • The Rotary Club of Brighton

  • Southampton Row Grant

  • Put Out into the Deep Trust

  • Madeleine Capodilista

  • Ewald Wurzinger

  • The Chalk Cliff Trust

  • The Co-op

  • The Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust

  • Sigrid Rausing Trust