Award for St Albans disability group

Christine Balachandre and Ricky York, two of the team members

Christine Balachandre and Ricky York, two of the team members - Credit: Photo supplied

Support workers from St Albans who have helped a group of people with learning disabilities fulfil their ambitions have received a national award for their work.

The group spent a few hours each day volunteering at festivals over the summer including Reading, V and GuilFest, opening up more job opportunities.

And since attending the festivals, two of the volunteers have recently gained employment.

As well as helping out, the rest of the day was theirs to enjoy, enabling the volunteers to make new friends.

They were supported by an events company and the Bricket Wood-based Smug Oak Service, a support team working under the auspices of Dimensions, a specialist not-for-profit provider for people with learning disabilities and autism.

The support workers received an ambition award at the annual “Inspiring People” awards ceremony, hosted by Dimensions in London.

Christine Balachandre, manager of the Smug Oak Service, said: “I’m very proud of all the hard work my team has put in to help them become more independent, find jobs and stay in touch with friends they’ve met through the project.

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“It’s so important for people with learning disabilities and autism to have opportunities to build up their experience and confidence.

“All too often they don’t have access to employment opportunities, but are dedicated workers.”