Sir Norman and Nick Clegg 2

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Deputy PM praises innovative response by Yorkshire charity

Deputy Prime Minister praises innovative response to the ‘heart attack’ in the British economy by a Yorkshire based charity.

Nick Clegg spoke powerfully of what he described as a ‘Heart Attack’ in the British economy at a business dinner in Sheffield. Speaking to a group of senior business leaders The Deputy Prime Minister stated that strong collaboration and a return toYorkshire’s rich heritage of job creation outside the public sector was at the core of the recovery. He praised the work of Autism Plus and The Adsetts Partnership led by their Chairman Sir Norman Adsetts OBE for their commitment to partnership and to creating employment through the creation of social enterprise and open employment placements.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP and television presenter Monty Don joined their voices last week in a stirring call to South Yorkshire’s business community. The two hundred business leaders attending the dinner were encouraged to embrace partnership and to remember the most disadvantaged as they work for the regeneration of our region.

The Sheffield City Region Business Dinner, hosted by Sir Norman Adsetts OBE, was held by The Adsetts Partnership. Sir Norman has created The Adsetts Partnership to bring together organisations from the charity and voluntary sector so that, by working in partnership, they can achieve better services.

Nick Clegg MP praised the work of Sir Norman’s chosen charity, Autism Plus, in seeking innovative ways to enable the most disadvantaged to be active members of society. He warned that the difficult times would continue and encouraged all present to work in partnership to overcome the challenges we face. He applauded Sir Norman’s leadership in creating partnerships which bring change in difficult times.

Monty Don spoke movingly of his personal journey, including losing his business and his home when his three children were young and the depression he suffered as a result. That experience means he understands the challenges faced by people who are unemployed and with additional difficulties such as a disability.

He also spoke of how, following his recent stroke, he spent several months just with ‘his hands in the soil’ and how fulfilling that was. He endorsed Autism Plus’ plans to create a network of growing projects across the region for those who have autism and other disabilities.

Of Beanstalk Gardens Monty said “It is a beautiful idea of a small unit that remains small but combines forces. I think it is one of the profound changes that we have to make, think local.”

Monty Don has first-hand experience of how beneficial such projects can be. In 2006 he made a programme about his work with troubled young people, helping them to find new purpose through working on a smallholding, gardening and keeping animals.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP said he was pleased to see The Adsetts Partnership pioneering a new approach to collaboration via a coalition of willing charities. He was very pleased to be working with Philip Bartey, Group Chief Executive for Autism Plus and the Adsetts Partnership. Philip is one of 8 private sector board members serving under James Newman on the LEP.

Sir Norman Adsetts reminded those present that the same partnership solutions have been found to work in the past.

“Nearly twenty five years ago I spoke in this hall to a similar audience from the business community ofSheffieldabout the need for a partnership approach to the economic regeneration of our city and its region. And my message tonight is remarkably similar - we need to develop partnerships now which extend beyond the public and private sectors to achieve a social regeneration which will benefit our community and our region.”

“We learned the hard way that partnership works, but only if you have the patience and perseverance to keep talking until you reach the mutual trust and respect which can address serious differences without break-down.”

“The situation is bleak again, some of our difficulties have re-emerged, and there are some new ones to address; but the readiness to work together in partnership which served us so well in the past can still be our greatest strength, not only in the regeneration of our region but in improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable in society, and in harnessing their abilities to the benefit of the local economy.”

He described his two autistic grandsons as his advisors “their reliance on literal truth is a refreshing reminder of the value and occasional hazards of straight talking.”

At the dinner Autism Plus announced its plans in its 25th year to create a range of exciting developments across Yorkshire to expand its provision for people with autism and, through working in partnership with other members of The Adsetts Partnership, all those facing additional barriers in life. The local business community were invited by Sir Norman to join in achieving their plans.

Philip Bartey said “Employment is one of the many ways we are adding value to our core mission. We achieved an important milestone recently in placing 1000 people into sustainable jobs across the region. Employment support is provided through Jobsteps Ltd, a Group subsidiary of Autism Plus.”

Autism Plus works across Yorkshire providing community support, learning and day activities, housing and employment services for people with autism and other complex conditions. Their innovative approach, based on the belief that everyone has a contribution to make, has been effective in helping many individuals to achieve more in their lives.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kate Mitchell .

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