Local Supported Employment Services

Stronger Together (Mencap)

Royal Mencap provides a supported employment service based in the Central Library in Reading, which is aimed at people who face significant barriers to employment and are aged 25 plus.

The project specifically works with people in West Berkshire who have a learning disability with other partners working with other disadvantaged groups.

Stronger Together is funded by Building Better Opportunities and the Big Lottery. 

For further information about the service and to make a referral, please contact Andy Granata

Email: andy.granata@mencap.org.uk


Access to Work Grant

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability to help you:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

The grant is not for business start-up costs.

How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money doesn’t have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

To get an Access to Work grant you must:

  • have a disability, health condition or mental health condition that affects your ability to work
  • be 16 or over
  • live in England, Scotland or Wales – (there’s a different system in Northern Ireland)

Your work

One of the following must apply:

  • you have a paid job
  • you’re self-employed
  • you have a job interview
  • you’re about to start a job or work trial
  • you’re starting work experience

You can’t get a grant for voluntary work.

The employer has to be in England, Scotland or Wales.

Your disability or health condition must either:

  • affect your ability to do a job
  • mean you have to pay work-related costs, for example special computer equipment or travel costs because you can’t use public transport

It must also either:

  • be likely to last at least a year
  • have lasted at least a year already


You might not qualify if you get any of these benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Income Support
  • National Insurance Credits

You might still qualify for Access to Work if you earn less than £120 a week and either work:

  • as part of a treatment programme to get you off benefits
  • supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation who arranges work for disabled people

This is called ‘supported permitted work’.

You change jobs

Tell Access to Work if you change jobs. You may be able to:

  • transfer equipment to a new job
  • get a different amount of grant

You have to make a new application to:

  • transfer support workers
  • get travel costs

How much you will get depends on your circumstances.

The money can pay for things like:

  • adaptations to the equipment you use
  • special equipment
  • fares to work if you can’t use public transport
  • a support worker or job coach to help you in your workplace
  • disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • a communicator at a job interview
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job

For further information and to apply, please visit www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply