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We are a social enterprise charity. Our vision is for people with learning disabilities to be valued in the workplace, to reach their full potential and feel included as members of society.

The
Charity

Our
Story

Just 5.1% of people with learning disabilities are employed in England. 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.

Founded in 2016 by Rosa Monckton, whose younger daughter Domenica has Down’s Syndrome, Team Domenica is to help young people with learning disabilities find and retain meaningful employment. Based in central Brighton & Hove, we operate through a unique three-tier set-up of Training Centre, Training Café (Café Domenica) and Employment Centre. Through this we provide employment programmes to young people with a wide range of ability, referred to as our ‘candidates’ to more accurately reflect and emphasise their role as people ready for employment.

What we're doing is working. Since opening an amazing 84% of our candidates have moved into paid employment rate through our Supported Internship Programme.

We believe that we are at the forefront of a movement that will lead to real change in the lives of people with learning disabilities and the way they are perceived by employers and society as a whole.

Together, our mission is to help people with learning disabilities discover their career potential, to create employment opportunities and to remove barriers to work in local communities.

About
Us

Our
Team

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    Rosa Monckton
    Founder & Chairman

    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 has been awarded with an MBE for all her charitable work for young people with learning disabilities over the years. She 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 Bulgarian Abandoned Children’s Trust.

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    Alex Polizzi
    Trustee

    After reading English at Oxford University, Alex trained at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, worked for Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and helped open various Rocco Forte properties. She then went on to set up Millers Bakery, with her husband Marcus Miller.
    In 2008, Alex became the host of the highly acclaimed show, The Hotel Inspector. With several series firmly under her belt, Alex's latest venture The Fixer, hit BBC2 in January 2012. She has now done ten years as Hotel Inspector, and three years of travel shows as well as various restaurant programmes for the BBC and Channel 5.
    Millers Bakery is now a 52,000 sq.ft operation, supplying most of the five-star hotels, restaurants and burger joints in London, as well as providing frozen and part-baked bread and pastries across the country.
    Alex is also a trustee of the Landau Forte Academy Trust.

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    Charles Noel
    Trustee

    Charles became a Chartered Accountant after reading English at Trinity College Cambridge. Following 9 years with Coopers & Lybrand in London, Paris & Tehran he has worked as Finance Director for Cartier Ltd, Tiffany & Co Ltd, the Duchy of Lancaster and Asia House. He is Treasurer of Lygon Almshouses and St Thomas’ parish, both in Fulham.

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    Lalli Howell
    Trustee

    Lalli Howell was a Head Teacher for a special needs school in Sussex for 20 years. She has extensive experience in the field of autism and special education for early years. Lalli is a member of staff within a NHS autism assessment team as well as an Autism Advisor for both independent and state schools.

  • Jess Flanagan

    Jess Flanagan
    Trustee

    After studying European Legal Studies at the University of Southampton, Jess qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and in 2013 established a Welfare Court of Protection Team at Clarke Willmott LLP in Bristol. Until August 2021, Jess was a Partner at Clarke Willmott LLP managing a small team of lawyers who represented clients in cases in the Court of Protection concerning health and welfare decisions. She now supervises and manages a similar team at Ashfords LLP on a part time basis and has recently been appointed to the Western Circuit to sit in the Civil and Family jurisdiction as a Deputy District Judge.

    Jess provides bespoke training for advocacy organisations who support adults with additional needs and has written and spoken for national organisations including ‘Community Care’, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Jordan's Family Law, and Elderly Care Law. She regularly speaks at the National Advocacy Conference and presented at IPSEA’s (Independent Provider of Special Education Advice) 2020 conference.

    Jess is a mother to Ada and Frida who has Down Syndrome. Jess is part of ‘Positive About Down Syndrome’ (PADS) and works closely with the charity on various projects to support parents. She uses Makaton and is enjoying sessions providing advice around early intervention play with Frida. She has a blog www.fridasfootsteps.uk with the aim of sharing her family’s experiences of Down Syndrome, from antenatal diagnosis to the present day, in the hope that they will help others.’

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    Lisa Campbell - Squires
    Programme & Strategy Director

    Lisa has 25 years of experience of working with young people with ASC, MLD, SLD, PMLD and complex needs. She has worked alongside a wide range of professionals and experts to create individualised programmes, placing young people at the centre of their learning.
    She has piloted several successful inclusion projects and worked in a wide range of specialist educational settings, including providing high quality bespoke post 16 specialist provision and post 19 transition. She has also worked in the charity sector.
    Lisa has always pioneered new ways of working that make a real difference to the lives of young people with a learning disability. Whilst recently studying for an MA in Experimental Psychology Lisa explored how innovative technology can be developed to support people with Autism. She believes passionately in expanding neurodiversity in the workplace and that the benefits this brings to corporate business is of equal value to that of the young person with a learning disability they employ.

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    Jo Gracie
    Executive Director

    Jo has an extensive knowledge of workplace wellbeing consultancy, having previously worked in the employee benefits industry, alongside experience in new business development and relationship management.
    Jo is passionate about driving positive change and has demonstrated through her communications skills and eye for detail, successful development of new fundraising and marketing strategies. As one of the first staff to be recruited by Team Domenica, Jo provides effective finance, marketing and trustee governance support to the charity.

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    Timothy Drew
    Chief Operating Officer

    Tim is a Chartered Accountant with almost 20 years experience of working in senior finance roles at international and national charities, including being Commercial Director of a large learning disability charity in Brighton. Tim has also served as treasurer for various local charities and has co-owned a successful private dental practice.

Our
Partnerships

Team Domenica provides a range of employment programmes, with progression to supported internships, and wherever possible on to paid employment. Working in partnership with St John’s College, local employers, activity providers and charities, we are delivering an essential education, training and support service within the Brighton & Hove community.

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“We are delighted to have a Team Domenica candidate on board working in our kitchen team.”

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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 by helping their candidates gain valuable work experience here at Posh Totty Designs. We work at providing relevant projects that allow the candidates the opportunity to plan and prioritise their work and to develop together as a team. All the candidates 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’s a hard task for anyone starting out on their own, but with a fantastic organisation like Team Domenica behind them, these young people have a fighting chance.”

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“Holiday Inn Brighton is delighted to be working as a partner with Team Domenica, helping candidates gain a valuable insight into hotel operations, and providing work experience that will lead to employment. As a General Manager, I am really proud to be associated with such a caring, motivational and inspiring charity. From day one the support has been amazing and we look forward to continued successes for years to come.”

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“It is a pleasure to work with Team Dominica, giving candidates the opportunity to gain work experience and practise skills learnt in the classroom.”

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“Hurst College is delighted to be working with Team Domenica. By offering work placements to local young adults with learning disabilities 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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We have really enjoyed having the Team Domenica candidates at Ricochet as part of the team. We have found meeting and spending time with the candidates really rewarding and we find the response from the whole office is positive. We hope the candidates are also enjoying being part of our team and are learning a lot.

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“It wouldn’t be the same without the Team Domenica candidates now. They are part of the team. It’s great to know that certain jobs will be taken care of by the candidates and that you don’t have to worry about it being done.”

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“When we were approached by Team Domenica and considered the Supported Internship Programme, as a business our experience was very limited. The key to the success we have had is down to the groundwork that was done prior to candidates joining us. The support structures and the guidance from Team Domenica has been invaluable in helping all parties make the internship the success it has become. The whole team really enjoy working with candidates, we have built a fantastic relationship that the whole team are very proud of.”

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“Team Domenica has professionally assisted all parties to ensure a safe working environment and has been a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend the work that Team Domenica does highly enough and hope to enhance the relationship with Brighton Harbour Hotel further.”

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“After being truly inspired by Team Domenica and their work, we decided to get involved by meeting some of the candidates. The Bill’s team absolutely love the candidates and they all have fun whilst gaining experience within a live working environment. Keep up the great work Team Domenica!”

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Our
Donors

Thank
You

We would like to thank all our donors, charitable trusts and foundations, who have so generously contributed within our current financial year. Without your support the essential work that we do would simply not be possible.

We also thank all those who contributed through our 'Virgin Money Giving' platform. From £3 donations to £5,000, every single pound helps us in our aim to get young adults with learning disabilities into employment.

  • Ennismore Charitable Trust

  • The Henry Smith Charity

  • MariaMarina Foundation

  • The National Lottery Community Fund

  • Garfield Weston Foundation

  • The Blagrave Trust

  • Charlotte Marshall Charitable Trust

  • Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust

  • Invest for Children Foundation

  • OneFamily

  • Savoy Educational Trust

  • Sussex Community Foundation

  • The Co-op Community Fund

  • The Edward Gostling Foundation

  • The Lawson Trust

  • The Rothschild Foundation

  • Hedley Foundation

  • Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust

  • Danielle Trust

  • The Gannett Foundation