Client with South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard
Client with South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard

Doncaster Deaf Trust’s Aspire to Be employability service has been awarded an important contract from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

The funding of £465k will allow the programme to continue to deliver a specialist employability service for adults who are Deaf/hearing impaired, neuro diverse or those who have any other communication difficulty in Doncaster and across the region.

And South Yorkshire mayor, Oliver Coppard, was on hand to see the work of Aspire to Be for himself when he recently paid the service a visit.

Aspire to Be offers tailored, sector-specific training for those aged 16-60 with SEND. The project aims to build on personal skills and provide opportunities to increase confidence, self-esteem, self-development, and improve health and wellbeing as individuals are supported to achieve employment in various sectors, including hospitality, logistic/driving, warehousing/distribution and retail.

The training modules have been inclusively designed to aid support for those with limited abilities or anxieties, that would otherwise be excluded from or would not engage in an educational setting. In addition, the programme offers a clear focus on employment outcomes and non-accredited training within these sectors as it prepares people for work and is tailored to ability and needs.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “South Yorkshire has to be a place where everyone can stay near and go far; a place where the opportunities you can access are only limited by the ambition you have, and where everyone has a chance to make the most of their talents.

“That’s why I’m so pleased to have been able to support Aspire to Be. The team running the project are the best of our community, helping people across South Yorkshire to overcome the barriers they face, and build the life they want, offering compassion, respect, and care.”

Aspire to Be provides a range of activities aimed at SEND individuals, including:

· Employability – CV writing, application writing, interview support, independent travel and searching for jobs

· Confidence and motivation – Building confidence and goal setting

· Personal Development - Budgeting, healthy eating, and personal hygiene

· Digital Technology - Using different methods of technology for the benefit of learning, engagement, and continuous development of support.

Alexis Johnson, chief executive officer of Doncaster Deaf Trust, which manages Aspire to Be, said: “We are thrilled that Aspire to Be has been awarded a contract from SYMCA so we can deliver this innovative and much-needed project providing specialist employability and employment outcomes to adults across South Yorkshire. The service is for adults who are Deaf/hearing impaired, neuro diverse or those who have any other communication difficulty helping to make a valuable difference to their lives by developing their skills and supporting them into work.

“Our Aspire to Be team really are experts in this field and have built a strong reputation for both supporting people with the challenges they face and working with employers to break down any barriers. We were all really excited to welcome the mayor to Aspire to Be so he could see our approach at first hand and start this new chapter for this vital project.

“We now really want to hear from individuals who think this programme may be right for them or professionals in the education and employment field in South Yorkshire who are aware of people who could benefit.”

For more information about Aspire to Be, please visit or email: