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Contract of confidence

PUBLISHED: 03:15 28 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

NEW opportunities and brighter horizons are being offered to people with learning disabilities in the Woodbridge area.

A workshop has been launched to enable adults, who would otherwise have been excluded from the workplace, to boost their confidence and learn extra skills.

NEW opportunities and brighter horizons are being offered to people with learning disabilities in the Woodbridge area.

A workshop has been launched to enable adults, who would otherwise have been excluded from the workplace, to boost their confidence and learn extra skills.

Dozens of people gathered together yesterday for the official opening of Woodbridge Packaging Services at The Sidings, in Melton.

The scheme, which is jointly funded by Suffolk County Council and the European Social Union Fund, teaches people with learning disabilities new work skills as well as how to act on their own initiative.

The 11 adults taking part in the project were all involved in setting it up and even chose the paint and furnishings for the unit – right down to a mirror in the toilet.

Betty Miller, community resource manager, said: "The project is very important.

"It gives people a sense of worth and improves their self esteem and confidence.

"They are able to use their own initiative and feel they have the same opportunities as other people in the community."

Those working as part of the project are involved in packing work and also mail shot work.

It is all work experience and no one gets paid to do it, but they are able to gain qualifications through the National Proficiency Test Council.

As well as gaining experience it is also a learning process as they are taught that the things they are packing as well as the mail shot could be going all over the world.

Some may not have known much about other countries before working there.

Trevor Witney, project manager, is responsible for getting contacts and is working hard to keep the contracts coming in for the group.

He said: "It is nice for them to do something and feel good about doing it as it then gives them confidence to go on and do something else.

"They have really learnt how to work in a team."

As well as giving the workers new skills the project is also intended to emphasise to employers that people with learning disabilities are capable of working.

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