Work Experience at Saspire

 

Working at Saspire, Sasbah’s Training and Enterprise Centre

What is Saspire? Saspire is a social enterprise, set up and wholly owned by Sasbah, offering training and voluntary work experience to support and assist those in Sussex with physical and/or learning disabilities (including, but not only, those with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus).  For some this is a direct stepping stone to employment, for others it offers those with more substantial disabilities the opportunity for voluntary work, interacting with others in a safe and secure environment.  In both cases, the workplace follows professional working practices, introducing people to the disciplines of the work environment, giving fulfilment to their lives, and enabling them to make a contribution to their community.

 

 

Saspire has three principal elements: training (including personal development), direct work experience, and personal support plans geared to individual development needs. Volunteers commit to attend an agreed number of hours/days each week to enable their needs to be met, from between 1-4 days each week.

 

Saspire operates from two centres, one at Sasbah’s East Sussex base at Gun Hill, Horam, the other at our West Sussex premises in Worthing.  Both comprise a large workspace and office, with fully accessible facilities.

 

What work is involved? Work experience, for which training is provided, is very varied. Saspire negotiates contracts to provide services or finished products to local and national companies, which involve a variety of tasks chosen both to meet the abilities of clients, and to ensure work routines and discipline are able to be learnt. One example is our work for Brewers plc, the international paint and wallpaper company, preparing wallpaper samples for dispatch to internet enquiries. Saspire is always looking for suitable new contracts to supply services, and welcomes discussion with any local company in East or West Sussex who has logistic or hand-finishing work to be completed.

 

In addition, we are also seeking to build up our own direct sales of products. Starting from good quality charity cards and calendars, we hope to develop other products, as well as seeking additional partnership opportunities with local firms.

 

Saspire’s track record.  Opened in 2010, Saspire has already proved it can meet the needs of clients, with business targets met, a high level of customer satisfaction, and a happy and productive working environment. Brewers plc transferred its work from a private sector supplier to Saspire, and found that productivity was higher.  As they themselves said: “We’re delighted that we’ve moved the work to Saspire … we are a very demanding customer, but we couldn’t be happier!”

 

Saspire’s need for client care and supervision means that income from its operations will not fully cover its costs, and the shortfall is made up from funding sought from grant-making bodies. Saspire has a small paid staff, supplemented by volunteers, to support the enterprise. Currently over 30 clients regularly attend the two centres, and we are looking to increase this number gradually.

 

Support for the Individual. With 50 years’ experience of working with those with disabilities, Sasbah is able to fully support clients during their time with Saspire, including offering additional support where necessary and appropriate. Each client has a personal support and development plan, through which progress is monitored, and each person is guided towards realising their potential.

 

Further Information. Whether you are a business interested in partnering or contract work, or you are seeking work experience as a volunteer with Saspire, or you would like to become involved in any other way, we’d love to hear from you.  Please contact the Sasbah office on 01825 873045, or email office@sasbah.org.uk

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