Doncaster Deaf Trust's Aspire to Be team
Doncaster Deaf Trust's Aspire to Be team

Doncaster Deaf Trust has launched a new-look specialist service that aims to help adults with learning disabilities and difficulties gain life skills and employment.

Aspire to Be, which has developed from the Trust’s Specialist Employability Service (SES), will work in partnership with referring agencies 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.

Managed by Doncaster Deaf Trust, which has a national reputation for providing support to people with additional communication needs, the service specialises in providing help to those who are deaf/hard of hearing and will address 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.

Covering the whole of the Sheffield City region, Aspire to Be benefits from an experienced and dedicated team who offer service users aged 19 and over a bespoke individualised plan which gives them the tools they need to help them find and stay in employment.

Alexis Johnson, executive principal of Doncaster Deaf Trust, said: “We are so pleased to be offering  this expanded service so that people with learning disabilities and difficulties can get the support they need on their journey to employment.

“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. And we are now in the position to offer more vocational and enterprise opportunities as well as constructive life skills to help people become more independent so we have developed a much more rounded service.

“Aspire to Be works with local authorities, housing associations and job centers in South Yorkshire who can refer people to us to provide the support they need. We also have plans to expand this service further nationwide so it’s a really exciting time for us.”

The Trust’s previous SES service regularly exceeds its targets of helping people into work and of all providers in this field, has had the most clients who have started a job and then stayed in work for 26 weeks or longer. In addition, its staff are all British Sign Language (BSL) users.

Added Alexis: “Our team works to 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.”

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