Photo of Realise Futures staffBASE member, Realise Futures, has won a five-year contract to deliver the Government-funded Work and Health Programme in Suffolk on behalf of national charity Shaw Trust. The programme aims to help people who have been unemployed for more than two years, or those with a disability or health condition, to find paid employment. Realise Futures already provides supported employment services for disabled people on behalf of Essex County Counci

Image of Carolyn TuckerOur 2017 Practitioner of the Year, Carolyn Tucker, is celebrating after winning another prestigious award at the National Autistic Society’s Autism Professional Awards 2018.

Carolyn, who works for Surrey Choices, was named the winner in the ‘Most Inspirational Social Care Professional’ category. Carolyn impressed the judges with her exceptional contribution to the lives of autistic people. Carolyn supports people with a wide range of disabilities by helping them to find employment opportunities with local employers.

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and, during the week, employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a career. You can find details of local events at

The Learning and Work Institute has published an online Employer Toolkit that has a focus on supporting apprentices who have a disability.

Together for Short Lives have announced the launch of the second round of the Improving Transitions for Young People Fund.
Having awarded funding to two projects in the first round of the funding in 2017, they are again reaching out to children’s and adult services to support their development of innovative services and approaches to overcoming the barriers seriously ill young people face in their move to adulthood, helping them to live life to the full.

Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week runs from 19 to 25 of March. This year’s theme is “What I Bring To My Community” and BASE member, WorkFit, will be playing an important role in the week.

The Work and Pensions Committee is looking at the future of the European Social Fund within the context of Brexit. A one-off oral evidence session was held on 28 February and participants discussed a wide range of issues including the demographic and geographic targeting of funds, how support is commissioned and linkages to wider policy initiatives. The hearing also discussed the level of flexibility and bureaucracy within the administration of the European Social Fund.

Microsoft have produced a website showing their journey towards a more inclusive workforce. The website describes the measures taken to introduce more inclusive recruitment practices within the company.

You can view the site at


The Work and Pensions Committee has published its report looking into how PIP (Personal Independence Payments) and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) assessments are conducted. The report says public contract failures have led to a loss of trust that risks undermining the operation of major disability benefits.

The decision to contract out PIP and ESA assessments in the first instance was taken to introduce efficient, consistent and objective tests for benefit eligibility. 

NHS England has launched a new transformation fund for Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services. It aims to support the expansion of IPS services so that more people who experience serious mental illness (SMI) can find and retain employment. This investment is part of NHS England’s objective to double access to IPS by 2020/21 as outlined in the implementation plan for the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) wish to invite providers to a market engagement event for the provision of the Greater Manchester Working Well Early Help Programme. The event takes place on 7 Feb 2018 (11:30am - 1pm) at Cotton Room, Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB.