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.
Coronavirus update: With our training centre only partially open, we continue to do all we can as a charity to regularly support candidates and their families during this time:
• Every candidate that does not have access to a computer, has been issued with an i-pad so that we can keep everyone supported and friendships connected.
• Our training staff are conducting weekly 1-1 video mentor meetings and group
• We are launching a virtual timetable for all candidates so that they may continue to work towards their accredited qualification and to practise their employability skills at home.
• We are encouraging our candidates to express their feelings and anxieties during this uncertain time, to promote positive thinking and the sharing of ideas.
Our training centre provides new and innovative employment programmes to young people with learning disabilites, referred to as our ‘candidates’ to more accurately reflect and emphasise their role as people ready for employment.
Our holistic approach is personalised to each candidate, with the aim to develop their independence, confidence, communication, and work skills ready for paid employment.
Our three core employment programmes provide an extended transition between the education environment and world of work:
SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (SEP)
A one-year structured study and training programme, four days per week, where all candidates complete a registered qualification and discover their career potential. On this programme, candidates get to experience essential high levels of social interaction with customers, employers and also their peers.
SUPPORTED INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME (SIP)
A one-year programme based mostly in the workplace of a partnered employer. Through our accredited Centre with Open Awards (a national Awarding Body), candidates receive a Level 1 certificate in ‘Skills in further learning and employment’. This includes developing positive behaviour in the workplace, learning how to be assertive and managing stress at work. This enables our candidates to better cope in a busy and often unfamiliar work environment. 75% of candidates are offered paid employment positions through this programme.
WRAP AROUND PROGRAMME (WAP)
Our WAP is designed to support and sustain candidates who transition into paid work. A high level of continued support from a Training Mentor is provided to candidates in functional literacy, communication and social skills, money handling and independent travel training.
Through all our programmes our candidates benefit from:
• Classroom based pre-employment training through a registered qualification
• Workplace knowledge through external work experience
• Mental health and wellbeing support
• Developing communication and social skills
• Life skills and independence
We have two cafés, one at our main Centre on Preston Road (opening times below) and another one in Hove Library (open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm). 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
Our candidates are centrally involved in the running of Café Domenica (our Training Cafés). These 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.
Café Domenica is open to the public and we have strong support from our local community. Café Domenica serves the purpose of not only helping our candidates develop skills and build confidence, but it also brings people together, educating them on the real value gained by interacting with people with learning disabilities and strengthening their relationships within the community.
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 have an excellent reputation with partnered employers and local businesses in Brighton and Hove. We work with employers across all industries including (but not limited to); The Co-op, Lloyds Bank, Holiday Inn, The Grand, Bill’s, Morrisons, Jury’s Inn and British Airways i360.
Partnered employers support our employment programmes and generate more job opportunities through:
• Work experience placements
• Supported internship placements
• Paid employment positions
Our reach within the business community continues to grow, by placing more young people into work, we have built up good relationships with well-known local employers who have then recommended us to other businesses.
We are currently supporting over 30 partnered employers.
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