Summer workshops

BASE is organising a series of online workshops to take place over the early summer. These 1.5 hour events are open only to BASE members and will be delivered using Zoom. Places are limited to 50 attendees and can be booked through Eventbrite.

We are looking to promote additional workshops so please contact us at if you're interested in presenting on a particular topic of interest for members.



Wednesday 24 June (3.30pm): Using workplace buddies as trainers

Presenter: Alison Thwaite, WorkFit (Down's Syndrome Association)

This workshop will offer an overview of how WorkFit makes use of workplace buddies/mentors in place of a job coach. WorkFit supports a small number of workplace buddies in each location to effectively train and support their colleague who has Down’s syndrome. The workshop will describe the processes used by WorkFit and how they enable natural workplace training to take place without the need for a job coach on site.

Boooking information: Eventbrite


Tuesday 30 June (3.30pm): Supported Business developments

Presenter: Melanie Walls (BASE)

The workshop will discuss the operation of TESG and the recent changes following lobbying by the Supported Business Steering Group. It will also look at how businesses are responding to Covid-19 and future support needs. Topics to be covered include:

  • TESG funding for operational and furloughed staff
  • Interpretation of DWP’s definitions (released recently), queries and feedback you would like to share
  • Understanding the long term implications for TESG employees officially 'shielding'
  • What the next 6 months could look like
  • Challenges for Supported Businesses with a vulnerable workforce
  • Development of a strategy for the next 18 months / 2 years and how you can influence the agenda

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 1 July (3.30pm): Reaching out to jobseekers online & digital safeguarding

Presenter: Andrea Randall-Smith (Little Gate)

Little Gate has always been a supportive, hands on and person centred Supported Employment Organisation.  The pandemic has meant we had to find digitally safe and secure means to communicate and engage with the LD and Autistic community we serve.  We will explain how we assessed and changed our working practices quickly working together to deliver Supported Employment support in a different way; through Zoom, Facebook and telephone contact. 

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 8 July (3.30pm): Employer Engagement opportunities and good practice sharing during Covid19

Presenter: Mark Parrin (Kent Supported Employment)

This session will give you an opportunity to hear what The Education People’s specialist employment service, Kent Supported Employment, is currently doing during Covid19 to support current and new businesses and how supported employment organisations are adapting to the current climate.  There will also be an opportunity to share ideas and good practice between workshop participants.

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 15 July (3.30pm): Education leading to employment - The big picture and current challenges

Presenter: James Whybra (The Castle School, Newbury)

This will be a very practical workshop so please come along to share your good practice, resources and questions in relation to the following areas (and any others that you want to talk about):

  • Current challenges and how we can overcome them
  • Employment EHCP outcomes and how to get them in to EHCP's
  • Gatsby Benchmarks and the Careers and Enterprise Company Hubs  
  • Employer Engagement and how to keep those relationships in these challenging times

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 22 July (3.30pm): SEQF - a framework for improving service quality

Presenters: Kathy Melling and Huw Davies (BASE)

How do employers know how good your services are?

This workshop will describe the Supported Employment Quality Framework (SEQF), a self-assessment tool for monitoring the quality of Supported Employment provision. The framework was used to assess model fidelity within the DWP Proof of Concept and will feature in the forthcoming Supported Employment trailblazer. BASE is now awarding 3-year kitemarks to organisations whose audited self-assessments achieve a score threshold.

The workshop will describe how SEQF can be used to assess quality and feed into quality improvement planning. We will discuss how to prepare for a self-assessment and how the external auditing works.

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 29 July (3.30pm): Access to Work

Presenter: Huw Davies (BASE)

What's working well with the Access to Work programme and what needs improving?

We are in discussions with DWP about the Access to Work programme and need your support to highlight the issues faced by providers. This consultation session will give an overview of work to date and seek your views on potential solutions to solve the problems faced:

  • Communication with advisors, third party consent and the role of appointees
  • Payment rates and advisors seeking copies of staff payslips
  • Application and renewal processes
  • job coaching and supported internships

Booking information: Eventbrite


Wednesday 5 August (3.30pm): Supporting the NHS to deliver on its 5-year recruitment pledge

Presenter: Mitch Mitchell (Kent Supported Employment)

Kent Supported Employment has been supporting Kent Community Health Foundation Trust with the NHS 5-year pledge to employ more people with learning disabilities as part of their Workforce Disability Equality Standard; particularly in recruiting more staff from a neuro diverse background. This session will focus on the collaborative work undertaken and training delivered to the Trust which has led to in excess of 20 paid opportunities for the clients our service supports. The session will cover:

  • how we initially engaged with the NHS Trust
  • how we supported and influenced the Trust
  • training delivered to Trust personnel
  • The outcomes achieved
  • Covid-19 considerations

Booking information: Eventbrite