Tool Up Employment Mentoring programme

Diagnosed or self-identify as autistic?
Struggling to find employment or progress in your current role?
Take a step towards a fulfilling career and join our Tool Up mentoring programme.
Register at https://ndsa.uk/tool-up/
Email: toolup@ndsa.uk

We are helping autistic people to find and progress in fulfilling employment through our new Tool Up Mentoring programme. It includes weekly one hour one to one mentoring sessions, an online employment readiness course and an online support group. Our Tool Up Mentoring programme will help you to formulate and progress towards your employment goal. It is suitable for vocational, admin and professional careers.

Employment provides a sense fulfilment, recognition and belonging. Research has shown that employment is central to autistic sense of wellbeing and quality of life, yet 77% of autistic people are unemployed and want to work, 58% among them want and need some help getting into employment.

There is little evidence that various employment initiatives work for autistic people with a notable exception of mentoring. A prominent autistic autism researcher Dr Damian Milton and his colleagues have piloted a mentoring programme that shown progress into employment and an improvement to the wellbeing of autistic participants.

Our programme is based on Dr Milton’s study and designed with his participation and valuable contribution from Dr Susy Ridout, the expert on mentoring of neurodivergent people. It is developed by autistic people for autistic people who are looking to get into meaningful employment or to change careers.

We are aiming to help autistic people to realise their potential and lead fulfilling lives, including achieving employment that meets their skills and aspirations, be it a vocational, admin or a professional career.

Our Tool Up Mentoring programme has three elements:
  1. One to one mentoring, 1 hour per week for 20 weeks’
  2. An online support group,
  3. An online employment readiness course.
Weekly person centred one to one mentoring helps to formulate and progress towards your employment goal. It could be finding work, progressing within the current employment or even finding a voluntary position as a steppingstone into work.

The support group will provide peer support, advice and a sense of community and help to build positive autism identity that is also key for autistic wellbeing.

The Tool Up course will provide helpful resources and a timeline to underpin the mentoring and progression towards the personal goal. It will take you through various steps involved in preparing and applying for work and managing your career once in work. It provides a wealth of tips and resources tailored to autistic people.

This programme helps both mentors and mentees to realise their potential, achieve personal growth and connect to employment and to an online autistic community.

Enrol into the Tool Up mentoring programme: https://ndsa.uk/tool-up/registration-form/
Contact us at: toolup@ndsa.uk


Become a mentor!

Looking for meaningful ways to volunteer?
Wanting to help to make life changing difference?

Become a mentor! Register at https://ndsa.uk/tool-up/

Mentoring can provide a great sense of fulfilment and recognition. You could be helping an autistic adult to achieve life changing step into employment and develop your own mentoring skills. Our Tool Up programme will train and support mentors throughout the programme.

What is involved?

You will receive a comprehensive free training developed and delivered by Dr Damian Milton and Susan Ridout. You will also join a mentors’ online support group and receive individual support and supervision from Damian and Susan throughout the programme. You will mentor one or if you prefer two autistic individuals to the rate of one hour per week for a duration of 20 weeks.

You would need to complete enrolment, mid-term and post programme questionnaires, attend the two day online training, consent to a DBS check and commit to 20 weeks of mentoring. You will receive payment of £300 for the entire programme (or £15 per session).

Register: https://ndsa.uk/tool-up/registration-form/
Contact us at: toolup@ndsa.uk
 

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Margot

Administrator
On Thursday 18 June we are hosting forum chat about the Tool Up mentoring programme.
Do you have any questions?
Post them here.
 

Caroline

New member
Hi,

This is my first post although I registered a while ago as I am a member of Autism Bucks which was briefly having its meetings via this forum.

I received some info on this via them. I am not looking for full-time - or even properly part-time - work at the moment as I am part-way through a psychology degree with the OU & also do some volunteer work once the Covid situation allows me to get back to it.

However, I am potentially interested in the mentoring as it sounds like the sort of thing I would enjoy and could fit in (plus the extra cash would be handy!).

I do have a few questions on that side:

1. What is the period over which the program is expected to run?

2. When is the training expected to take place?

3. Are applications open to non-working autistic applicants (although I have worked in a variety of roles/industries in the past)?

4. Is there expected to be any additional time commitment other than that stated and, if so, what would that likely be?

5. Is it possible to have a reference for the study mentioned?

6. Are you expected to have previous mentoring experience, or is the training provided comprehensive? I do have some transferable skills but have never mentored anyone or done job coaching.

I can definitely provide a clean DBS as I have to have one done regularly for my voluntary role.

I am not sure if it's too late in the day to be asking these questions as I have only just clicked on the links, if so please could you let me know and I'll email them directly?

Thanks 😊
 
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Margot

Administrator
Hello Caroline,

I will try to answer your questions as fully as I can.

1.What is the period over which the program is expected to run?
If everything goes to plan between mid July and end November 2020.

2. When is the training expected to take place?
It is expected by the end of the week of 13 July, although could be pushed a bit.

3. Are applications open to non-working autistic applicants (although I have worked in a variety of roles/industries in the past)?
Yes, as you have enough life experience from working and studying

4. Is there expected to be any additional time commitment other than that stated and, if so, what would that likely be?
There will be mentor supervision sessions of 30 mins once per month to discuss any difficulties or concerns. There will be a short report to write - just a couple of sentences after each session to make sure everything is well. You might need some preparation time but that would be minimal.

5. Is it possible to have a reference for the study mentioned?
This is the link to the article, full text can be downloaded at the bottom : https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86z84

6. Are you expected to have previous mentoring experience, or is the training provided comprehensive?
You are not expected to have experience. Comprehensive training and support is provided by Damian Milton and Susy Ridout.

I hope this provides the answers, any more questions welcome. :giggle:
 
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user1

New member
Hello,

I look forward to participating in the mentoring program.

I hope I can help my mentee's future in a meaningful way.
 

JackieF

New member
Hello,
I have applied to be part of the mentoring programme and hope to be of some use to someone with the knowledge I acquire.
This is something that I am interested in as I support students and finding work after they have gained their qualification is so often a challenge.
They have so much to offer employers yet are often overlooked.
 

Psquared

New member
Hi all,
just joined the program and thought I should say hello. i am 62 and was diagnosed with autism about 20 years ago ( which I didn‘t find that helpful).
I have been fortunate enough to be able to run my own businesses but I found dealing with people extremely difficult. however as I got older ( and wiser?) Ilearned lots of new ways to cope with interpersonal ( I hate that word) relationships. It’s still not easy and I still get it wrong a lot but I have learned not to stress as much when things start to overwhelm me. Looking forward to the training and as others said hopefully helping to prevent others tripping us as much as I did.