Team Domenica is a three-tier operation. Our holistic employment programmes not only help to prepare candidates for the workplace, but also develop their capacity to lead happy fulfilled lives.
We achieve this through the set up of our Training Centre, Training Café and Employment Centre.
Our Training Centre provides a bespoke and supported employment scheme for young adults with learning disabilities. Each candidate will complete a Learning, Employment and Progression Diploma in affiliation with Brighton Metropolitan College.
Candidates cover core units such as Communicating Effectively with Customers, Food and Hygiene Safety and Creating a Tailored CV. Bespoke units include Crossing Roads for Pedestrians and Using Money for Shopping. These units are delivered alongside
in-house work placements at Café Domenica and Free World Kitchen.
The in-house work placements provide a perfect opportunity for candidates to learn new skills in a real work environment. They also allow candidates to build their confidence in a safe work environment, where making mistakes is seen as a valuable part of the learning process. This part of the work programme is underpinned by the systematic instruction process.
The candidates then progress to supported external work placements with a wide range of local employers. We encourage candidates to step out of their comfort zone, experience a variety of opportunities and explore which roles would be best suited to them in the future. Our aim is that candidates will then be offered a longer work placement with a view to permanent employment.
A unique aspect of our work programme is the opportunity for candidates to continue developing their communication skills, social skills and self-confidence through a fun and stimulating enrichment programme. The largely team-based activities facilitate collaborative problem solving, flexible thinking and resilience, all essential skills needed to manage in a complex work environment.
We are currently working in partnership with Carousel, Red Zebra and Brighton & Hove Table Tennis Club. Afternoon sessions include creative digital media, drumming, table tennis with Grace Eyre, karaoke and more recently yoga and wellbeing at Brighton & Hove Natural Health Centre.
Our work with local charities not only brings in outside expertise but builds candidates' wider networks within the community, opening doors to social events such as The Blue Camel Club, Rockhouse, Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies.
Our candidates' voice is at the heart of everything we do. We actively promote
self-advocacy and independence at every opportunity. This year, we have formed a 'TD Steering Committee' which enables candidates to have a greater say in the everyday workings of the charity.
Our holistic employment programme not only aims to prepare candidates for the workplace, but also develops their capacity to lead happy fulfilled lives by discovering new talents, making new friends and creating connections to the wider community.
We have two cafés, one at our main Centre on Preston Road (opening times below, also now open on Sat 9am-4pm) and another one in Hove Library (open Mon-Sat 10am-4.30pm). Our Training Cafés are open to the public and enable our candidates to practice their professional and social skills.
Contact the Café+44 (0)1273 681111
The cafés are staffed by our candidates where they are taught catering skills, front-of-house and general work skills, to assist preparation for work. We invite local businesses in on a monthly basis so that they can see for themselves what our candidates are capable of doing and what benefits they could bring to their businesses.
Team Domenica’s Employment Centre aims to establish relationships with local companies to procure suitable employment opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities.
We provide companies with guidance and advice on employing young people with learning disabilities. We engage with CEOs, heads of CSR and heads of HR departments to facilitate the provision of appropriate working conditions for young adults with learning disabilities.
We are working closely with local companies who support employing people with learning disabilities.
Here at Team Domenica we are proud to be making a real difference not only to our candidates' lives but also to those in our wider community. Check out some of our success stories here.
“I am very happy as I love working. I’m a baker so I’m so pleased that Team Domenica helped me to get a job making cakes for the afternoon teas at The Grand hotel.”
When Zac first joined Team Domenica, he had high levels of anxiety and found it hard to be in group situations. Lacking in confidence, he found social interaction very difficult, often isolating himself from others and choosing not to take part in activities.
We quickly recognised Zac’s potential as a natural and talented baker. Through in-house work experience at Café Domenica and taking part in our enrichment programme, Zac’s ability to manage his anxiety and difficult situations greatly improved. Our supported employment programme offered him high levels of social interaction and continued to develop his communication skills, confidence and independence.Based on his career aspirations, our Employment Centre matched Zac to a supported internship with partnered employer The Grand hotel. With ongoing support to Zac and the employer, a permanment position of paid employment was offered.
“What an eye-opener, a journey I thought I’d never take, but so very glad I did. Working with Zac has taught me so much about myself and he has been an inspiration – his dedication, commitment and confidence has grown to unbelievable heights, to which I applaud him, it is an absolute pleasure to offer Zac a position at The Grand hotel.” Alan White, Executive Chef, The Grand
“Team Domenica has helped me to build up my confidence and made me feel good in myself. I’m really enjoying my work at the Co-op and feeling a part of the team.”
Prior to joining Team Domenica, Katrina had applied for a number of jobs and despite having a strong skills base, was unsuccessful. This rejection led to a huge loss of personal confidence.
Team Domenica has since helped a very fragile Katrina to build resilience through training in the Café and various enrichment programmes. Significantly, making mistakes in the Café and learning how to recover from them have hugely boosted Katrina’s confidence.
The support and training given have seen Katrina flourish, so much so that she is now an ambassador for Team Domenica, and a kind and empathetic peer mentor to less-able candidates in the programme.
Through Team Domenica’s Employer Partnerships Scheme, Katrina’s work-experience placements have helped her to develop the communication and social skills that she is now confidently using on the shop floor at the Co-op.
With ongoing support from her job coach, provided by Team Domenica, Katrina has successfully integrated into the staff team there and is now receiving further training to widen her skill set for other roles.
Written by Team Domenica volunteer writer Julie Middleton
“I am the first person to get paid work at Team Domenica. I have never in my life been first at anything, it’s such a brilliant feeling. It’s great to feel valued.”
Natasha came to Team Domenica with little work experience, but with aspirations for paid work.
Confident, kind and talkative, her in-house placement and training at Team Domenica have given Natasha the additional skills needed to secure a placement ideally suited to her natural abilities. Working in the Café and role play exercises helped significantly improve Natasha’s communication and listening skills, essential for effective and professional customer service.
Natasha now works on one of the doughnut stalls on Brighton Pier. With the support of her job coach, she has found it easy to develop strategies to rise to any new challenges and her initial placement quickly consolidated into three shifts of fully paid work. Brighton Pier has remarked that her exemplary reliability and timekeeping have been a real asset over busy weekend periods. Natasha is now saving for a deposit on a flat with her fiancé.
Building on her customer service skills and with increased confidence, Natasha is now also working as a part-time receptionist for Team Domenica, answering the phones and passing on messages.
Written by Team Domenica volunteer writer Julie Middleton