The Glyn Hopkin Charitable Foundation has teamed up with autism charity Sycamore Trust UK to sufferers into long-term employment with local businesses.
The foundation, set up by Glyn Hopkin Group founder and chairman Glyn Hopkin – who is also a director of Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club following a takeover in January – will assist autism suffer from Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering with the new initiative.
The Space initiative, which stands for supporting people with autism into continued employment, offers support to employers to help them sustain full-time job placements for young people, the Barking and Dagenham Post reported.
It also offers help with job searches and interview preparation and provides a personal helpline to offer ongoing guidance for people once they are employed.
Sycamore Trust UK’s chief executive officer, Chris Gillbanks, said: “Currently, only 16 per cent of people with autism are in full-time employment, and we know there are many young people who are desperate to prove that they are talented and loyal workers.
“The funding and support from the Glyn Hopkin Charitable Foundation will enable us to change lives through the Space programme by delivering a much-needed service to local people.”
Glyn Hopkin said that his involvement in the scheme had led to autism sufferers gaining employment within the Glyn Hopkin Group. He said: “As chairman of a local business that employs hundreds of people, I recognised vacancies could more readily be taken on by people with autism if more guidance and support was offered to potential employers.
“Since the programme was launched we have helped individuals with autism secure positions across the Glyn Hopkin motor retail business and we look forward to welcoming many more young people into our company as the programme develops.”
In January Hopkin completed a take-over of Dagenham and Redbridge FC when he led a four-strong group, along with previous directors Dave Ward and Dave Bennett and managing director Steve Thompson, in a deal which promised a total investment of £1.3m in the National League outfit.