Blueberry was formed in 2007 by Andrew Cambridge and Andy Bucklee. The service was set up to support people who had an aspiration to work and who needed practical support to develop their employment skills and work experience.
From the beginning, Blueberry began to set up working partnerships with local employers to ensure that people would have real opportunities to prove and develop their existing skills and talents. Initially, Blueberry delivered City & Guilds Employability Skills training and job coached people on placements at My Eco Cafe and in other work experiences in the community, funded by Social Care.
Within 6 months of supporting people, Blueberry had placed 3 long term unemployed adults into sustainable paid employment, also providing their ongoing support. The organisation began to deliver education programmes in 2012 as part of City of York Council’s local learning offer for 16-25 year old students with education, health and care needs.
Blueberry continues to work in a holistic way with individuals, always aiming to look at “the bigger picture” to ensure that each person has the best opportunity to succeed in working towards their independence and employment goals.
Our team builds strong working relationships with the key partners and support networks who must be involved to successfully support people to make progress: parents and carers, support workers and Personal Assistants (PAs), health professionals (Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Educational Psychology, Mental Health teams), Specialist Careers Advisers, Transitions and Social Care Managers, JobCentrePlus and other Supported Employment Services.
Always being pro active in seeking opportunities which match peoples’ skills and aspirations means that we have set up strong working partnerships with a wide range of local and national employers. We continue to make links with new employers all the time. To find out more about this please look at our Supported Employment and Working with Employers pages.
Staff specialisms and experience include:
- qualified Functional Skills tutors
- session leaders with Cert Ed or Level 3 Award in Teaching and Learning
- practitioners with Level 3 Certificate for Supported Employment
- NVQ Level 3 and 4 in Information, Advice and Guidance - IAG workers
- Dyslexia Specialist
- Training in Systematic Instruction
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Drama, Arts and Music Therapy
- Arts Award assessors
- Intensive Interaction and Sensory Integration
- Mindfulness tutors
- Sports, Rugby coaching, Personal Training, Zumba, Pilates and Yoga Instructors
- staff with professional backgrounds in teaching in schools, colleges and community settings; hospitality; catering; retail; mental health; specialist autism support; social care; landscape gardening; creative enterprise; careers advice; project management; administration and IT.
We aim to link staff and job coaches with the right skills to match a persons’ specific needs and interests in order to get the best possible programme for the individual.