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Young employees with learning disabilities inspire the next generation

Filsan Hassan (right) with mum Khadija (centre) and sister Farida (left)

Filsan Hassan (right) with mum Khadija (centre) and sister Farida (left)

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Young employees with learning disabilities – who recently secured work experience and paid jobs through their school being part of a scheme run by Islington Council and local partners – have told of their time in the working world in the hope of inspiring the next generation.
Pupils from Samuel Rhodes School for children with learning disabilities joined employers, teachers, and council staff, to launch a new video, sharing their success stories so as to combat ignorance and encourage others to follow suit.  
Unemployment is a big challenge for people with learning disabilities. National statistics show 80-90 per cent of learning disabled people do not have a job, while research reveals that employers often assume that someone with a learning disability is not able to work.
The Islington Learning Disability Partnership (ILDP) Employment Sub Group strives to combat high levels of unemployment among people with learning disabilities and increase the number of those in sustained and paid employment.
The group consists of Islington Council, Jobcentre Plus, City and Islington College, Shape Arts, and disability-specific services such as the Elfrida Society and Mencap.
Members of the partnership and council staff work with local employers to create ‘carved’ and bespoke jobs for residents with learning disabilities.
As a result of their efforts, since March 2015 20 local residents have started work in businesses such as Mears, Budgens, and Holloway Neighbourhood Group, and ten people have had job offers and will start work over the next few weeks.
The inspirational film was introduced by Filsan Hassan, 18, who is currently undertaking work experience at the Scope charity shop in Camden and the marketing firm, Euromonitor, in Farringdon. 
She said: “There are not enough employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
“The [ILDP] scheme is a good thing. I’d recommend it to other people and I’d recommend it to employers too.
“Some employers don’t hire people with learning disabilities. That’s prejudice.”
She said: “I used to hide my learning disability, but no more. I have a learning disability and I’m proud of it.”
Filsan, who earlier this year won the Ben Kinsella Award for her work as an ambassador for young people with learning disabilities, will be studying Creative Arts at City and Islington College in the new academic year. She aspires to be an actress and businesswoman.
Islington Council Assistant Chief Executive Lela Kogbara said: “Stories like Filsan’s highlight the huge contribution to our society that people with learning disabilities make.
“We know from experience that local residents with learning disabilities are committed and reliable employees, who have the same ambitions and aspirations as anybody else.
“I’d strongly encourage local employers to get in touch with us to find out how they can get involved in the ILDP scheme and make this borough a better place to live and work in.”
For more information about the ILDP or to get involved in the scheme, please email Jimmy Flynn via

For more information contact:

Eugene Grant
Senior Media Officer
0207 527 2530

Filsan (right) takes to the stage to share her story.jpg

Filsan (right) takes to the stage to share her story

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Shanice Warry-Martin (left) with mum, Kelly Warry.jpg

Shanice Warry-Martin (left) with mum, Kelly Warry

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The Islington Social Crew (L-R Janine, Nikki, and Caroline).jpg

The 'Islington Social Crew' (L-R Janine, Nikki, and Caroline)

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