Man with learning disability feels 'ignored' in job market

Teacher Toni Rull

Toni Rull feels "let down" by Havering Council. - Credit: Toni Rull

A woman from Hornchurch has called for more to be done to help people with learning disabilities into work. 

Toni Rull made a complaint to Havering Council after feeling it had “let down” her brother, who wishes to remain unnamed. 

Over the past five years, since her brother left New City College’s Ardleigh Green campus in 2016, Toni alleges that she has reached out to several organisations and bodies to seek help, including Havering Council.  

In response to this, Cllr Jason Frost from Havering Council said the authority gave Toni's brother advice but is happy to review the situation again because it is "extremely important" that residents receive assistance in "every way possible".

Toni, who works as an early years teacher, said she would like to see her brother - “who is able to competently work in an entry-level job” - be given more help to achieve a paid opportunity.  

The 27-year-old's sibling has a developmental learning delay, but wishes to work in a bakery and, according to Toni, would be “dedicated and reliable”.  

Her brother said he feels “ignored” because he believes the help he has received so far has "not been helpful” and a “waste".  

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Securing a job would make him feel as if he had “infrastructure” to his life, Toni said. 

Cllr Jason said the family contacted Havering Council's adult services in 2017 and was given advice on “what services and organisations” could provide help.  

He said: “Apart from a request to us to renew a freedom pass in 2020, we have had no indication that [Toni's brother] was seeking further assistance and that the services we put him in touch with were not providing the support he needs."

Most recently, Toni's brother has been supported by a disability charity that has provided Zoom sessions to discuss “applying for jobs” and “interview skills”.

She said: “Imagine having a Zoom meeting with a stranger talking at you about getting an interview once a week for six weeks or longer when it doesn't relate to anything when you don’t ever get that far."