New Bridge MAT

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Reverse Employability Event - 1.5.24


Students from across the MAT came together at New Bridge School on Wednesday, to meet local businesses and organisations in our first ever 'Reverse Employability Event...'

The event gave students an opportunity to ask business owners questions about how they make adaptations for employees with SEND.

It also gave business owners the chance to meet some of our students, tell their stories and find out more about what we do here at New Bridge to create meaningful futures.

The day was an incredible success, with 'innovative', 'inspiring' and 'creative' coming out as the top three bits of feedback from our guests.

Reverse Employability Event


Here is some feedback from a few of our visitors...


I attended the Reverse Recruitment Event at New Bridge Academy today alongside my manager Dawn Gibbons.

I would just like to start by sharing my 3 feedback words following today's event, it is super hard to narrow down to just three words but the leading words would have to be Inspirational, collaborative and innovative!


It was such an inspiring experience and as someone with my particular role as SEND Lead, I am generally behind the scenes, in meetings or working directly with our early years children, families and professionals.

I support children at the very beginning of their journey, and today to see the other side as your young people flourish into young adults was very inspiring, admittedly I was slightly nervous when faced with 'networking' something I am not used to atall, but the event was managed wonderfully and we both left feeling greatly inspired and uplifted at the end of the event.

The dedication and passion throughout the event was heart warming, and as someone equally as passionate about supporting individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and promoting communication accessibility, I found the discussions and initiatives presented at the event very insightful and thought-provoking.

It's very clear that New Bridge Academy shares a strong commitment to inclusive education, which aligns perfectly with my own values and expertise as Early Years SEND Lead at Sunflower and Licenced Makaton Tutor at Sign and Bloom.

I would love to explore the possibility of collaborating with New Bridge Academy in the future should anything come up that you feel may be relevant.

With my background in SEND as SEND Lead and my ever-growing communicative experience as a Makaton tutor through my recently launched business Sign and Bloom, I would like to think that I may be able to contribute meaningfully in some shape or form to your initiatives and help create an even more inclusive environment for your learners.

Please let me know if there are any specific ways you think I could potentially support or contribute to the fantastic work being done at New Bridge Academy. I am eager to explore opportunities for collaboration and look forward to potentially working together in the future.

Once again, thank you for the invitation and the truly inspiring event.

Best regards,

Jayde Conway


I just wanted to start by saying what an absolute fantastic job you did today and congratulations on the amazing event, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I really appreciate the invite.

The 3 words how I would describe today would be: Eye-Opening, Informative & Proud (in the sense of proud of being associated and involved with a MAT like yourselves and the amazing things you do)

I look forward to hopefully working with you guys even closer in the future.


Thanks again.


James Done


Guests on the day included Mari Saeki, who is the Chair of the Greater Manchester Autism Consortium and Helen Thornhill, who is from Our Gang which is a community based KS3-4 group in Glossop.

Lee Stanley, who is the CEO of Sharp Futures, was also in attendance, as was Scott Whitney, CEO of All For Inclusion, which is a GM based Community Interest Company for disabled people to meet socially and end isolation.

Joanne Spurgeon was there as well, a Governor at Samuel Laycock and the North West rep for British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) and Lead Employment Officer in Economy, Employment and Skills at Tameside Council.

Also with us were Kerry Gilham and Bryan Hart from Diamond Decorators.

So many businesses and organisations gave up their time to support the event, and the feedback has been brilliant. 


Reverse Employability Guests


More importantly, the feedback from our students has been great too. Here are a few examples...

This morning, I attended a reverse employability event alongside students from Samuel Laycock, New Bridge School and Hollinwood Academy. Multiple employers attended the event including representatives from the National Autistic Society and Tesla, we had a speed meeting style interview in which we asked questions to each other such as: what accommodations they would make for disabled people? What is our main area of expertise? And would I get a pay rise after completion of training?

My thoughts about this event are that it was: innovative in its way that employers and students can ask questions to each other, accessible because everyone had a say in the event and there were breaks when needed and inspiring because it was great to see the camaraderie between everyone at the event.





What went well is that I believe everyone was able to gain information about what different types of jobs people have how they differentiate from each other, what they expect from their employees.

I have learned why most students who have finished New Bridge seek employment from the school because New Bridge school is where they grew as a person and learned what they needed to survive in the working world so they come seeking employment at New Bridge so they can help guide new students and give them better chances at learning than had they due to their insight as former students and to them New Bridge school is part of them that they don’t want to let go.

What would be even better is if we had more time to discuss the topics before we had to change tables.

I really enjoyed the whole event because it was all about people with disabilities getting work with people talking to us about what they do in their jobs and what we do in our placements with questions and to see if they thought if we could work for them.

Most of all I was blown away from what people thought of our work with destiny because people said we do a better job than some professions, I was buzzing with excitement and confidence with what they said. In the end the fact they tried with the food did not matter because I had a wonderful time and that’s the bottom line.



Our next Reverse Employability Event is set to be even bigger and even better. All of our visitors today plan on coming back, so demand for places will be high.

Get in early to avoid disappointment!