WHAT IS THE WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM?
The Work Experience Program at Heartland Forest is geared towards serving older youth and young adults who have an intellectual or developmental disability, or an acquired brain injury. Typically youth with a special need stay in school until age 21. After that families face a challenge – with limited funding to assist their loved one and very limited program options, they resign themselves to wait lists and increased stress on the family unit. We know that there is a strong desire within these individuals to be involved in their community and have a meaningful volunteer experience with the ultimate goal of having a few employment hours. At Heartland Forest we provide opportunities for them to learn workplace skills in a supported and caring environment. We hold strong values in creating accessible services and opportunities for people of all abilities!
All work experience participants join the program in volunteer positions. While in the program they will be expected to meet timelines and quality standards as if they were in a paid employment position. These expectations are held to help work experience participants adjust and develop the skills for competitive employment, and to help participants find strategies and problem solve for future employment. With our expansive facility and program options we are able to provide a variety of work experience opportunities ranging from maintenance, facility set up, reception, and assisting with children’s programming.
WHY SPONSOR A WORK EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANT?
Heartland Forest has developed a new sponsorship program designed, to give participants who have completed the Work Experience Program and fit well within Heartland’s culture, a chance to gain more experience with paid employment. This is where we need your help!
With sponsorship or through a designated donation, you can do something incredible for a deserving individual. For many an hour or two of weekly employment or a gift card program can change their life and ease financial strain.
Gaining paid employment further validates participants efforts by providing the opportunity for personal, financial compensation. It enables them to continue to develop their skills with a greater sense of responsibility and accountability. They gain additional experience, expand opportunities and build the confidence needed to achieve future goals.
HOW SPONSORSHIP WORKS
$4,000 – 4 hours of paid employment a week, for a year.
$2,000 – 2 hours of paid employment a week, for a year.
$1,000 – 1 hour of paid employment a week, for a year or a gift card compensation plan.
When you sponsor a Work Experience participant you will receive acknowledgement on our website and through social media as well as signage at our Reception area.
MAKING A DESIGNATED DONATION
All donations – of any size – are gratefully accepted and acknowledged and will go into a general Sponsorship Fund. We will be sure to let you know how your donation is making a difference!
Tax receipts are issued for donations of $20 or more with your name listed in our annual report.
MEET SOME OF HEARTLAND’S WORK EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANTS
Adam is one of our most active nature lovers in the Work Experience Program! You can usually find him checking our trails a couple times a week to make sure everything is clear and picking up garbage around the property. He feels “we need to take care of our environment because we need it and it’s the right thing to do”.
For Renata, Heartland is her second home. Not actually, of course, but she tells everyone she meets that she would happily spend all of her time here if she could and that she has waited her whole life for a place like Heartland Forest. Our accessible Nature Centre was designed so that she can easily get around in her wheelchair—you should see her go!