Photo Credit Jan Wells
100% of profits go back into supporting adults with learning disabilities to gain employment and business skills while tackling the stigma, hate and inequalities they face.
EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS & WELLBEING
AND-Clothes give our members a platform to flourish and become the successes they deserve to be. We address the lack of employment opportunities facing people with learning disabilities and instill confidence and promote wellbeing through creative practice within the programme.
We support adults with learning disabilities to gain skills and experience in business, retail and marketing. Each year we work with 8 team members who help run and develop our clothing social enterprise. The team receive support, vocational training and real life work experience with the chance to gain paid employment within the programme itself. With the skills they learn at AND-Clothes they are also able to move into paid employment opportunities elsewhere if they choose to do so.
Art and creativity plays a big part in AND-Clothes and is an effective way to improve wellbeing. Being creative is proven to improve mental health by reducing anxiety and stress, increasing a sense of acheivement and purpose, improving mood and relaxation. Using art is also a fantastic way to find a common ground, form friendships and a community and thus build robust mental health.
the need to Change Attitudes
Misconceptions and negative attitudes can be a barrier to people with a disability living the lives they want.
32% of people surveyed in the British Attitudes Survey thought that disabled people are not as productive as non-disabled people. This belief may contribute to the big difference in employment rates between people with a learning disability and the general population.
It is estimated that there are 1.5 million people in England with a learning disability.
Only 6% of adults with a learning disability are in employment although the majority want to be in order to feel fulfilled and play an active, contributing role in society.
improving mental Health
People with a learning disability can be more likely to experience poor mental health:
- Biology and genetics may increase vulnerability to mental health problems
- A higher incidence of negative life events
- Access to fewer resources and coping skills – even more notable during the 2020 Covid pandemic
- The impact of other people’s attitudes
NO MORE HATE
Sadly, hate crimes against learning disabled adults are on the increase. Figures show that the National Crime Survey estimated 70,000 crimes took place between 2018 – 2019. Many crimes still go unreported and that’s why it’s vital that this community has the power and voice to speak up for themselves to make a change for the better. We want to make the world a safe place to live and be free from abuse.
Spreading our message #AbilitiesNotDisabilities and supporting our work will help prove what this talented community really can do. The simple act of wearing one of our T-shirts will help fight our campaign against stigma and challenge negativity.
Leep1 work in many other ways to raise awareness, educate and tackle hate and mate crimes. More about our schools programme can be found here:
By putting our new designs online it was soon established that there was a need for a digital inclusive shopping experience for adults with learning disabilities and other digitally excluded parts of society. A future development of the AND-Clothing project is to help develop an app to provide a safe shopping experience and a pre paid card to allow for greater independence while shopping.
A report from Scope has identified clothes shopping to be second highest problematic online shopping area (after groceries) and have said 98% of websites are not accessible. (read more..)
The digital divide is a huge issue and even more so since the pandemic. Having an app like this potentially helps many that are vulnerable and isolated by being able to shop online as everyone else does. A benefit of learning to shop independently supports other aspects of independent living such as budgeting, improving confidence and other life skills.