A Shropshire charity which has been instrumental in changing the lives of thousands of people living with learning disabilities is celebrating 25 successful years with the publication of an inspirational new book.
Landau, which has its headquarters based in Wellington, Shropshire, is a leading provider of supported employment and training.
Since becoming a registered charity in 1995, it has helped young people and adults across the UK to create meaningful and fulfilling futures for themselves by supporting them into long-term employment.
To mark the charity’s 25th anniversary, an inspirational new book featuring the achievements and success stories of those benefiting from Landau’s vital services, is to be published in the new year.
Sonia Roberts, Landau Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating such a significant milestone in the charity’s history and thrilled that so many people have come together to share their positive experiences and achievements in this new anniversary book.
“Landau helps thousands of disadvantaged and isolated people each year to fulfil their dreams and potential by supporting them to find training and employment so there is no one more qualified to tell our story than those who have inspired, who have served and who have been impacted by our work.”
Supermarket employee Daniel Perks from Oswestry, is one of the 10 case studies to be showcased in the book.
Daniel has Down syndrome and his own journey with Landau stretches back the full 25 years to when the charity was first borne.
He was just 21 when he was first referred to Landau by the Youth Employment Service after completing several work placements.
Keen to work as part of a team, Landau helped Daniel access employment support, a grant made available to employers for people with disabilities, and helped him to secure a job at his local supermarket, formerly known as Somerfield.
Twenty-five years on and Daniel continues to work at the same store, now known as Morrisons, where he plays an essential role in providing customer care services.
Being recognised as a valued member of the team; earning his own money and being independent, means the world to him.
“Earning money makes my life much easier and nicer,” explained Daniel.
“I can afford to go to the pub, have a meal out, go on holiday, go to the cinema and collect DVDs which is my hobby.
“I like it when I go up town or to the pub and meet people I know from work. It makes me feel safer that there are friends around.
“Because I have worked at the store for 25 years there are lots of staff and customers who know me and stop and chat around town. It is good to be part of my community like this.”
Mrs Roberts added: “Daniel’s story is exceptional but it’s not a one-off and the book demonstrates this. The work we do has a real impact on people’s lives, their future and their success and for that we are immensely proud.”
As well as its headquarters in Shropshire, Landau, which is an employer-led organisation with 22 per cent of its workforce representing service users, has training centres in Herefordshire and Stoke on Trent.
Earlier this year, the charity became a nationally recognised Centre of Excellence for the work it does to help people with mental health conditions secure sustainable employment.
The service has also been recognised nationally by The RAND Corporation – an independent research organisation which guides changes in public policy. Earlier this year Landau became the highest scoring RAND reviewed wave 2 IPS service in the UK.