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Launch of Future Steps marks the start of a journey
Thursday 1st November, 2012

For most of us, our teenage years are a time of new horizons, personal growth and limitless possibilities.

So why should it be any different for young people with a disability?

Future Steps is a new service from Wigan Council which gives young people with a range of disabilities the skills and confidence to enjoy the same freedom, empowering them to rise to life's challenges and meet their fullest potential.

The service, to be launched on Friday 2nd November at Leigh Sports Village, helps people aged 18 with a disability to access on the job training, find suitable work experience placements and learn new skills in order to secure voluntary work or paid employment. The Future Steps team also works with children from the age of 14 at both Oakfield in Hindley and Hope School in Winstanley.

“We can help young people to start planning their future from the age of fourteen,” explains Michelle Campbell, Community Based Services Manager.

“Once armed with the skills, advice and information they need, young people will have the confidence to make their own choices in life. Some of our previous service users have benefited so much from the service, they are now mentoring others. And the skills they’re acquiring aren’t simply valuable to them professionally, but also in their personal, social and domestic life, too.”

Organisers hope the launch event at Leigh Sports Village will help to showcase the services available in the borough to new partners as well as to both existing and potential service users, their families and carers. The event opens at 11.00am and goes on until 3.00pm.

Local MP Andy Burnham and Trevor Barton OBE, Chief Executive of Leigh Centurions are expected to show their support at the event, together with a range of services from across the borough.

Cllr Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council's cabinet member for adult health and wellbeing, says:
"As much as this event is a celebration of the achievements of young people with disabilities, it's also a chance for them to learn new ways to access potential learning and employment opportunities. Future Steps is a vital service, mobilising partners to get involved and inspiring young people to find confidence and fulfilment."

“We’re keen to provide a joined up approach to service delivery, which is why we’ve invited partners including the Disability Partnership, Shopmobility, Millercare, Greater Manchester Police, Gordons Ford and Assistive Technology,” says Michelle.

For more information about Future Steps, contact Marian Milling or Andrea Molyneaux on 01942 487854.

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