Who are SPICE?

12th June 2019 |

SPICE is supported by Future Directions CIC and stands for ‘Supporting People into Community Employment’. They formed over 10 years ago after a number of people we support realised that they shared the common frustration of not being successful in gaining paid employment.

They decided to get together and support each other to share ideas, develop skills and ultimately gain employment. They discovered that they all had experience of using health and social care services and decided that they could use their experience to improve the quality of services provided and raise awareness around issues that are important to them, and at the same time get paid for their time and expertise.

The struggle for adults with learning disabilities to gain employment is real and is reflected across the country. According to research 6% of adults with learning disabilities in England are in paid work.

SPICE have grown and evolved over the years and have become a well-respected and valued self-advocacy group in the North West. The work that they do is vast and is making a positive difference to all aspects of people’s lives. Their work includes:


‘Friends for Life’ - Their latest and extremely successful venture was setting up our ‘Friends for Life’ Group which provides exciting and accessible opportunities to meet up with others, have fun and develop and maintain friendships. Their latest trip to Chester Zoo saw over 200 people attend! It was a fantastic day and now everyone is looking forward to the next day trip to Morecambe in July (contact Kim Barrett for more information).

Training Sessions - SPICE provide training to other organisations including universities, the police and hospitals.  They also provide training to other people with learning disabilities and have delivered workshops and presentations covering topics such as Hate Crime, Internet Safety and Relationships.  

Working in partnership with Salford University – SPICE contribute towards the Joint Learning Disabilities and Social Work Programme by teaching sessions, taking part in simulations and form part of the interview panel to decide who gets a place on the course.

Teaching Aids - SPICE have produced training DVD's around PBS and Internet Safety. These can be used for staff and professionals working within health and social care.

'Getting it Right Team' – This is a quality checking group that SPICE have set up.  The team have developed their own adult tool which they use when visiting people in their own homes to make sure people are happy where they live and how they are supported.  The team write a report and make recommendations to improve service delivery and the quality of life for the people using services.

Interviewing - SPICE form part of the interview panels at various organisations.

'Say No to Hate Crime' – SPICE deliver Hate Crime training sessions and developed resources to help people with learning disabilities, and those who support them, recognise and report hate crime.  They have also provided training to the police.

Looking after your eyes - SPICE are working in partnership with SeeAbility to deliver sessions to raise awareness of the importance of eye tests and show how provisions can be made to make eye tests accessible to everyone. They also promote the Greater Manchester 'Eye Test Made Easy Scheme'.

GM GOLD -  SPICE are working in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, Pathways Associates and Manchester People First on a research project looking at Growing Older with Learning Disabilities in Greater Manchester(GM GOLD). The project aims to find out what older people with learning disabilities enjoy doing and what stops them from doing this.


Making A Difference

Not only do SPICE make a difference to other people’s lives but by being part of SPICE they are also making a difference to their own lives. SPICE member Stevan says “having a job makes me feel good, I look forward to pay day every month” as well as enjoying the freedom money brings, another SPICE member Abby explains that “it makes me feel better… It’s fun” and Delwyn says that working with SPICE gives him a purpose “We’re involved in so many different things. We feel like we’re helping and making a difference. I help people to learn’. Daniel says “it has helped me. I have developed new skills and have grown in confidence”


If you would like more information about SPICE please contact Jenny Neville on 0161 769 9000 or email Jennifer.neville@futuredirectionscic.co.uk

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