A brand new car wash and valet service has started in Lewes, called Future Clean.
It is staffed by local people with learning disabilities who are supported by ChoicES, East Sussex County Council’s supported employment service, and SCOPE and managed by a job coach from the local Norwood charity.
Based at County Hall, in the Westfield car park, it will be open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm. It offers everything from a basic car wash to a full valet cleaning service, inside and out. Prices start at just £8 for a wash and wax.
Future Clean will provide training and paid employment for adults with learning disabilities. The project aims to become a grant-free, self-sustaining social enterprise within three years.
Paul, one of the trainees working at Future Clean, said: “This helps me get out of the house and increases my self-confidence. I would like to thank ChoiceES, Norwood and East Sussex County Council for giving us the opportunity to learn new skills”.
Cllr Bill Bentley, the Lead Member for Adult Social Care, who launched Future Clean last week, said: “This project is providing people with an opportunity to be part of a community, to work and to be part of life. The trainees here are showing what they can achieve in their lives. In fact they are not just trainees, they are delivering what people want.
“This could be the start of something much bigger and I would like to see a network of Future Cleans throughout East Sussex, from Crowborough to Eastbourne, Hastings to Newhaven and many other places. This could be an acorn that grows into an oak.”
Nigel Bolton, Norwood Business Manager, added: “This will provide a meaningful opportunity in every aspect of the trainees’s lives. Many people in East Sussex will gain new skills, learning opportunities and independence by being involved with this project.”
Meanwhile, the county council is offering grants for local employers to encourage and support them to provide jobs for vulnerable adults.
These grants will be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses or organisations, employing up to 250 people. Vulnerable adults can include a variety of people, including those with learning disabilities.
In total there is £130,000 available, with a maximum grant of £10,000 for each employer that is successful. The minimum grant will be £3,000.
Details can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/businessgrants.
The closing date for applications for a grant to employ vulnerable adults is Friday, December 7, at 12 noon. If there are any queries employers can call: 01273 482052.