A North-west employment project that helps people with disabilities back into work celebrated its 10th anniversary at an event on Thursday.
Ability First is a three-week motivational work preparation programme that is delivered in Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.
It is estimated that around 4,000 people have been on the course since it began a decade ago, with every person who has attended saying they would recommend it to others.
Approximately 55% of people who have taken part in the course have subsequently gone on to employment, further education, training or voluntary work.
The Ability First team celebrated the milestone with lunch and a range of speeches from people who have helped to make the scheme a success. The event was held at the headquarters of social enterprise Local Solutions, in Liverpool, which manages the course.
All the people who take part in the course are referred by Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Advisors.
One person who took part in the programme said: "Being seen as an individual made me feel human again - I feel like I have a place in society now." Another said: "The course has taken me out of my comfort zone but has also made me feel really better about myself."
Dr Mark Rogers, senior manager for training and quality assurance at Local Solutions, said: "I was proud to be involved in yesterday's celebratory event, which commemorated 10 years' management and delivery of the flagship programme, Ability First.
"The course has assisted more than 2,000 disabled people progress into employment, training or voluntary work across the North West.
"The event was well supported by Jobcentre Plus staff, who refer customers to the programme and enabled Local Solutions to thank them and the Ability First delivery staff for their continuing valued contribution."
If you would like more information on the programme call Paul Ainger or Jo Fairburn on 0151 705 2322/2361 or visit www.localsolutions.org.uk
Community Newswire, 15th May 2009