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6 Benefits From Improving Your Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

Corporate social responsibility has become a major factor in how our clients, partners and prospective employees perceive us as a business. For job seekers, it’s certainly become a big consideration when they’re deciding who they’d like to work for, especially for younger people. In fact, 64% of millennials recently said that they’d take a lower paying job if it was fulfilling over a higher paid one that wasn’t.  You can understand it too, we spend a lot of time working, we should be proud to be there. From a corporate perspective too, when it comes to tendering for new business or being considered for corporate recognition awards such as the Times Top 100, a well-balanced corporate social responsibility policy could be the difference between being shortlisted and losing out. At Lighthouse Futures Trust, we can help you make a significant move in the right direction via our fully managed, fully supported internship programme: Talent City. We work alongside you to place students with an autistic spectrum condition or learning disability into roles which we identify within your organisation. These are just 6 key ways in which we can benefit your business: 1)     Build the business case Firstly, our programme is

Branching Out: Our £2,000 donation for new equipment after a cup of tea

We British all know the power of a cup of tea. This communal activity brings us together like nothing else, allowing us to share experiences and ask for support when we need it, something any charity that relies on public donations must do. When our fundraising manager met Keith ‘Mr. Yorkshire’ Madeley MBE for a cuppa, though, we couldn’t have predicted the positive impact it would have. Keith Madeley is a business man and philanthropist who is chairman of several businesses and organisations in Yorkshire. Born in Bradford, Keith lived all over the country before returning to the North to contribute to the communities he grew up in. He is currently the chairman of The Yorkshire Society, which is where he met our current Development and Programme Manager Caron Munro, who was previously a committee member of the organisation. Before his involvement with the trust, Caron found out about Keith’s support for Autism Plus, another fantastic charity that supports both adults and young people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Caron decided to meet up with her old colleague to let him know about the work we do over a nice cup of tea. Our interns hard at

Talent City Internships with Yorkshire Water

As a school, we are committed to preparing our pupils for the world of work. Currently, only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time, paid employment, and our aim is to help change that statistic. As part of their education, we offer supervised work placements for our students in some of the region’s biggest and best companies. Each month, we’ll feature one of our partners and ask them about their experiences. This month, we spoke to Shilpi Arora, a Talent Advisor at Yorkshire Water, about the company’s placement scheme and how our students have been getting on. Tell us a little bit about Yorkshire Water and your role within it… Yorkshire Water is the Kelda Group's main subsidiary and is one of the ten largest water companies in the world. Yorkshire Water supplies more than 1.2bn litres of water to homes and businesses in Yorkshire every day. At the same time, we ensure that the region’s domestic and industrial waste is collected, treated and returned safely to the environment. I work as a Talent Advisor for the Diversity and Inclusion department at Yorkshire Water and was involved in the planning and implementation of the programme along

 Our Q&A with Alan Gardner…

We sat down with Alan Gardner, a patron of the Lighthouse Futures Trust charity and star of Channel 4’s The Autistic Gardener. Alan shared his views on the educational system for autistic children, what inspired him to start his own business, and his plans with Channel 4 in the future. Last year you opened Keepers Coffee and Kitchen – what attracted you to support the Lighthouse charity? I really liked the fact that Katie Parlett started a school for autistic children and then proceeded to look beyond that by helping children once they had finished secondary school. It’s about taking the children out into the real world and helping them come into contact with strangers and unfamiliar places.   We were delighted that Katie (our CEO) was featured in the New Year’s Honours list. What’s your experience of the work done by Katie and her team of “5 mums on a mission”? I’ve only ever come across a few people like Katie, who come up with a fantastic idea and actually decide to act on it. When most people sit down and come up with an idea, they don’t follow it through – she does! She appears to have the

Katie Parlett, the Lighthouse Futures Trust CEO, receives MBE

Katie Parlett, CEO of the Lighthouse Futures Trust, was recently awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. We spoke to Katie about how she found out about her award, and what receiving this tremendous honour meant to her. Katie, you were recently awarded an MBE, how did you find out that you were going to be receiving the accolade? I went to get the post and it was full of bills, so I put them in my bag as I was in the middle of cooking the kids’ tea. I noticed an official envelope sticking out and instantly thought it was a circular, but when I noticed Cabinet Office I thought I better take a closer look. It took me a few days to get the courage to open it and read it properly! I can genuinely say I was so surprised that I didn’t know how to process it, and I obviously couldn’t share it with anyone until it went public, so I tried to put it to the back of my mind, which was almost impossible. The tricky bit was lots of family gatherings over Christmas and not being able to spill the beans! How did

Lighthouse Speed Friending Blogger Event

On Wednesday 25th May, we teamed with Search Laboratory to host our very first blogger event at the Lighthouse Union Store. We invited 10 bloggers to attend our exclusive ‘Lighthouse Speed Friending’ event to learn more about the work we’re undertaking to help those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning difficulties to find meaningful employment. However, our event also had a bit of a twist. The bloggers took part in a social experiment, wherein they wore masks of their own faces while conversing with each other. 93% of communication is non-verbal, though many people with ASD have difficulty communicating this way, whether it be their hand gestures, facial expressions, or making eye contact with who they are speaking to. With their masks on, our bloggers got the chance to see how difficult it is to both communicate and understand others without being able to read non-verbal communication cues. “We didn’t know what to expect from the event so we were a bit nervous. We had heard about the speed friending and I’m quite a confident person, but put into new situations I’m a bit unsure. I thought it was a really good way to try to get into the

Welcome to the Lighthouse Union Store!

We are really proud to welcome you to our new website where you will find out about all that we do and what we are about. You can find out all about our café and store and our specialist school based in Leeds. We are particularly excited about our Lighthouse Union Store which was officially opened in Cookridge, Leeds last year by “The Autistic Gardener” Alan Gardner. This was a really exciting moment for us and our young people. He is truly an inspiration and a really great example to our young people of the potential that we all have regardless of our individual challenges. Have a look at our ‘Home’ section on the website for more information on the café and the re-loved clothing we have on offer. You should also keep an eye on our Facebook page for any news or specials in our café each week. Search “Lighthouse School Leeds” and Like our page. If you want to get involved as a VIV (Very Important Volunteer) then we would really love to hear from you. There is lots that you can get involved in to support us and really make a difference to the work that we