Blueberry was formed in 2007 by Andrew Cambridge and Andy Bucklee. The service was set up to support people who had an aspiration to work and who needed practical support to develop their employment skills and work experience.
Initially, Blueberry delivered City & Guilds Employability Skills training and job coached people on placements at My Eco Cafe and in other work experiences in the community. Within 6 months of supporting people, Blueberry had placed 3 long term unemployed adults into sustainable paid employment, also providing their ongoing support.
The organisation began to deliver education programmes in 2011 as part of City of York Council's local learning offer for 16-25 year old students with education, health and care needs.
Blueberry continues to work in a holistic way with individuals, always aiming to look at "the bigger picture" to ensure that each person has the best opportunity to succeed in working towards their independence and employment goals.
Our team builds strong working relationships with the key partners and support networks who must be involved to successfully support people to make progress: parents and carers, support workers and Personal Assistants (PAs), health professionals (Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Educational Psychology, Mental Health teams), Specialist Careers Advisers, Transitions and Social Care Managers, JobCentrePlus and other Supported Employment Services.
Always being pro active in seeking opportunities which match peoples' skills and aspirations means that we have set up strong working partnerships with a wide range of local and national employers. We continue to make links with new employers all the time. To find out more about this please look at our Supported Employment and Working with Employers pages.
This year Blueberry is delivering Personalised Learning Programmes to 35 young people in York and another 8 across North Yorkshire.
We also support 25 adults in York through our Social Care funded Supported Employment Services and another 20 across North Yorkshire.
In 2018-19 we are delivering a minimum of 10 Supported Internships in York. Last year 3 of our Supported Interns gained paid employment and we continue to support them with their career development.
Blueberry is a member of the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) and the National Association of Special Education Needs (NASEN.)