Participants of Ideal for All participants

A pioneering Sandwell-based charity and social enterprise has been recognised nationally for the way it supports disabled people into sustainable jobs, training or education.

Beating off competition from 145 organisations from all over the UK, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) awarded Ideal for All the prestigious title of Disability and Health Provider of the Year.

The award recognised the way the social enterprise has innovatively integrated therapeutic gardening interventions, wellbeing programmes and tailored employment support to improve the lives of disabled people.

Khatija Patel, CEO of Ideal for All, was delighted with the news: “We are thrilled to have won such a celebrated national award for our specialist support, delivered in partnership with disabled people.


“I was particularly pleased that they highlighted the journey of people into work, as it is hard for people with disabilities and health conditions/mental health to be given a chance – particularly in these challenging times.”

She continued: “We support positive health and mental wellbeing, independence and employment and skills development through taking a person-centred approach. As a user-led organisation, working together is our point of difference.”

Ideal for All, which was formed in 1996, operates across the West Midlands, providing expert information, guidance and access to a range of independent living activities, direct payment services, employability programmes, health and wellbeing projects and peer support groups.

In the last year alone, these initiatives have engaged and supported thousands of people to improve their wellbeing, increase their skills and secure sustainable employment.

The social enterprise has tackled Covid-19 head-on, shifting support to responsive remote working, outreach and supporting people to access help through digital and online platforms. It has also hosted video calls, group sessions, delivered excess produce to community groups and mental wellbeing gardening activity boxes across the community as part of its response.

Khatija concluded: “Going forward, we will continue to support people to access the vital support they need to stay safe and well and help disabled people navigate a very difficult jobs market.

“This will involve brokering opportunities to access good quality jobs that last and help them move into training and education. We also want to continue making use of our community gardens to deliver support and offer more volunteering and work experience for local people.”