The Emily Jordan Foundation was set up as a lasting legacy to Emily, after she drowned whilst river boarding in New Zealand. Emily was 21 and had just achieved a first class honours degree in law, at Swansea University and was on her gap year with her boyfriend. We, and many of her friends, therefore believed it was the right thing to establish a Foundation in her name. To leave a legacy to her that will last for many years into the future, helping these individuals whom have a lot to give, but very often are not given the opportunity.
During her short life, Emily had spent much of her spare time with Alex, her brother and his peer group, all who have learning difficulties. She completely understood the difficulties they encountered and regularly worked with local voluntary groups. On leaving full time education, many individuals with learning difficulties, find it almost impossible to secure skills training and find paid employment, especially in a competitive workplace.
Aim of the Foundation:
To help individuals with moderate learning and physical disabilities to lead valued and fulfilled lives.
The first primary aim of the Emily Jordan Foundation, which was to raise sufficient funds to purchase an industrial unit, in Kidderminster, has been achieved. Sufficient monies were raised, which along with a grant from the Social Investment Enterprise Fund enabled this purchase to be finalised in April 2010.
We have now finished the relocation of Spokes CIC to the new Unit, www.spokes-uk.org. Spokes is a successful social enterprise, which was running from small inadequate facilities. It’s primary purpose is to train young people with learning difficulties to enter the workplace. Individuals are trained on a daily basis to clean, assemble and service obsolete bikes, which are then offered for sale back to the public. To increase its self generated revenue, Spokes is now also involved in running bike clubs on local estates and repairing bikes for local schools. Not only does Spokes train and “employ” this learning disabled client group, but there is the added value for families and carers being able to pursue their own lives and employment during the working week, who would otherwise require some day care support for the individual.
A new computer training area for the individuals to learn computer skills has been completed. This has enabled a new course, 'Route to Work Diploma' to run which is a joint project with Kidderminster College. It is also used for teaching web browsing, basic word processing and spreadsheet applications to the individuals who come to the Foundation building.
Our next plans include:
Create a new Community Interest Company( CIC) that would be involved in the training of basic woodworking skills. The aims of this operation would be to manufacture bird boxes, hedgehog hibernation boxes etc. Some of these boxes would be equipped with miniature cameras, for the viewing of birds laying eggs and bringing up their young. These products would be sold from the site, over the internet and through other social enterprises.
The Trustees of the Emily Jordan Foundation thank you for your support.