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With your support more people with disabilities will learn work and life skills that bring sustained employment and help to achieve their goals in life.

People with disabilities:

achieving goals for life Goals are essential in life. They give us a focus, a sense of purpose that is vital for our overall wellbeing. Individually, our goals are as varied and diverse as we are as people. Goal-setting starts early as we decide what we want to do in life. Over the years work defines us as individuals, promoting our self-worth.

disabilities lose their sense of self-worth as they can no longer perform their usual duties. Often they are out of a job, alienated from society and reliant on State benefits for a prolonged period of time.

Tragically, following an accident, injury or trauma, people with acquired

In the UK today 29 million people are in full-time work. Around 1.5 million disabled


Source: Office for National Statistics Labour Force

people are available for and want to work but only half of those are employed. 23% of disabled people have no qualifications. With your support we can help more people with disabilities to break free from poverty and achieve their work-related goals for life.

Achieving work goals Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) is a national charity providing life skills, brain injury rehabilitation, mobility and vocational training services for people with disabilities through its four specialist services – QEF Vocational Services, QEF Independent Living Services, QEF Neuro Rehabilitation Services and QEF Mobility Services. Since the early 1930s QEF has worked successfully alongside thousands of people with disabilities, enabling them to develop the skills they need for the mainstream workplace. Today, we continue to train or retrain up to 240 people for sustainable employment each year. QEF Vocational Services is fully accredited and every trainee has the opportunity to gain a recognised National

Vocational Qualification (NVQ) or other vocational qualification. At present we run 11 courses, ranging from Bookkeeping and Accounts, Information Technology Support and Maintenance and Travel Services to Building and Property Maintenance, Carpentry and Joinery and Horticulture. Our staff are committed to realistic and holistic training programmes, incorporating English, Maths, IT, Job Club and job-seeking support. Each trainee is continually assessed on personal training programmes to ensure they successfully complete their studies that will help them secure work placements and, ultimately, long-term employment.

Achieving life goals At QEF Vocational Services we know it takes more than

simply providing practical training and support to help people with disabilities to rebuild their lives and achieve their work-related goals. The residential campus is located in the quiet Surrey countryside, an ideal studyfriendly environment. In between lessons, trainees enjoy interactive social activities. In the evenings they can gather in the leisure centre or join in the activities organised by our thriving Sports and Social Club. Staff are constantly amazed at how quickly trainees establish their own support networks as they realise they are not alone but are with others who have faced similar obstacles in life to them. With personalised training programmes and social activities in a residential environment, QEF helps trainees to develop a work/ life balance that is essential in mainstream employment.


“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one” Oscar Wilde, 19th century playwright


Matthew – a former trainee at QEF – was a successful electrician bringing up a young family when he suffered a serious industrial accident forcing him to seek an alternative career. He was able to attend the Bookkeeping and Accounts course. He explains: “Finding a job wasn’t going to be easy with no practical experience but I was determined to get back into work – after all, I was 33 and had another 32 years of working life ahead


of me.” Matthew gained a City & Guilds qualification and a permanent position at a college just in time to celebrate the birth of the latest addition to his family. He added: “I cannot praise QEF enough. Not simply for the training, but what made the difference was the support I gained in rebuilding my confidence and self-esteem. It made me realise that any limits placed on where you want to go are only set by yourself.”

Severe dyslexia saw Steven working as a kitchen fitter – a job that he found “neither reliable nor fulfilling”. He explains: “My local Disability Advisor suggested that I retrain. An opportunity arose to join the Media Techniques course at QEF. It was hard work but fascinating. “I learnt a lot about film, TV and sound. When I qualified I realised there were few employment opportunities, so I asked the Job Club leader what he thought

about me becoming selfemployed. He said ‘great idea’ and sent me off with a draft business plan to fill in. “Once I had looked at the opportunities and costings, I established myself doing wedding videos. My business has gone from strength to strength. I am now expanding into family portrait photography and can truly say that QEF changed my life. It gave me the confidence to set up in business, which I very much enjoy.”


“If you do the work you love, and the work fulfils you, the rest will come” Oprah Winfrey, American TV presenter


Help us raise a million pounds! After a long and often frustrating search, our QEF Vocational Services trainees and their JobCentre Plus or Pathways to Work advisers appreciate how difďŹ cult it is to ďŹ nd the right vocational course for them to be taught by staff members with specialist knowledge of disability issues. QEF Vocational Services is one of only four pan disability residential training colleges in England.


There are none in Wales or Scotland. Moving away from home is a brave but necessary step for our trainees but they cannot achieve their work-related goals without successfully completing their courses and work placements. Historically, the retention rates for trainees at QEF Vocational Services has been high due not only to the quality of teaching but also to the support they receive from staff and fellow trainees in the residential campus.

Images courtesy of LOM Architecture and Design

The majority of our trainees live together in a communal residence built in the 1960s but these facilities have now become tired, impractical and are environmentally inefďŹ cient. The QEF Vocational Services residential facilities now need updating to bring them up to a standard that will meet living requirements for our trainees and to provide additional capacity for young adults and those with more complex disabilities. A feasibility study shows it is more cost-effective to build a new 50-bed residential

facility with en-suite and fully wheelchair-accessible bedrooms on the campus than refurbish the existing accommodation. These bedrooms will enable trainees to enjoy a degree of privacy and a home away from home that every further education student has come to expect nowadays.

In total, the estimated cost of the development is £5 million. QEF plans to fund £4 million from existing resources and loans.

We are launching our Big Build Campaign to raise the additional £1 million over the coming 12 months – a significant target, especially in the present economic climate.

With your help we can help more people with disabilities to develop the work and life skills they need to achieve their goal of sustainable employment.

Please help us to continue our work! For further information, please call Jacqui Walford, Director of Fundraising on 01372 841118 or email:


QEF works with people living with physical and learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries to gain new skills and increase independence. Whether it’s learning everyday life skills, rebuilding a life affected by brain injury, acquiring the skills to drive a specially adapted car or training for future employment QEF supports disabled people to achieve goals for life.

Registered Charity No 251051

OYS 3288 / 05_10

Leatherhead Court, Woodlands Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0BN

LOWISS_QEF_raise_A4 8pp  

With your support more people with disabilities will learn work and life skills that bring sustained employment and help to achieve their go...

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