The Aspire to Be team
The Aspire to Be team

A specialist service that aims to help adults with learning and communication difficulties from across South Yorkshire gain life skills and employment is open for new referrals.

Aspire to Be, which is managed by Doncaster Deaf Trust, works in partnership with agencies in the region such as local authorities, housing associations and job centres to provide people with a holistic programme incorporating education, employment and employability sessions alongside health and wellbeing support.

And now the service, based on Leger Way in Doncaster, is open to new referrals either from partner organisations or by service users who can refer themselves.

Tina Rafferty, Aspire to Be manager, said: “We’ve been really pleased with how our service has progressed since we launched Aspire to Be earlier this year but we now have scope to take more referrals.

“Service users can refer themselves but partner organisations, such as local authorities, housing associations and job centres, can also refer appropriate people to us.

“Anyone who is over 16 years of age with a communication issue such as they are deaf/hard of hearing, have a learning disability or face difficulties such as low motivation, confidence and poor mental health who want to get into employment could be eligible. They should also not already be in employment or education or signed up to a European Social Funded programme (ESF).”

Aspire to Be specialises in providing help to those with communication difficulties and addresses a range of topics including CV writing, interview techniques, job search activities and work experience opportunities as well as fitness, healthy eating, budgeting and confidence building.

Added Tina: “We have a well-established team here that have years of experience providing specialist education and employability services to adults with extra communication needs as well as working with big name businesses up and down the country who have opportunities for full/part time employment as well as apprenticeships in various settings.

“We look at the ability not the disability, setting realistic goals and building confidence so people feel able to move into employment. We give those with communication issues a voice and use innovative delivery methods to ensure that the people we work with get tailored support that works for them.

“We would really welcome referrals from all sectors and self-referrals of people who think they fit our eligibility criteria to see if we can help support them back into work.”

To find out more about Aspire to Be, please contact 01302 386711, email: or visit