LEAP Project

In December 2014 MTIB launched LEAP (Learning & Employment Action Project), that has been funded by Jobcentre Plus. The aim of the project is to work with people with disabilities in Merthyr Tydfil, especially individuals with Learning Disabilities and their families/carers in order to develop their confidence levels, motivation, self-esteem and employability skills. We have both been nominated in, and won several national awards for our work on this project.


Project overview

  • Each participant receives an individual initial assessment at our premises in Pentrebach, or our Project Officers meet new participants at a convenient central location such as a café or library, depending on their preference. Parents and Carers are actively encouraged to attend the meeting so that everyone is able to have an active input.
  • During the initial assessment meeting the Project Officer provides an overview of the project and discusses and identifies what each participant would like to achieve with support from the LEAP team, this could include increased confidence, work experience, support to obtain voluntary work, development of employment skills etc. At the end of the meeting an individual development plan is agreed which will then be reviewed at regular individuals.
  • Depending on each individual’s needs, support requirements and ambitions a wide variety of project activities are available for individuals to pick and choose from.

LEAP Activities

  • Weekly LEAP Meet’s at MTIB – an informal ‘get together’ during which the group are offered training opportunities, support and group activities to develop confidence levels, interaction with others and team-working skills.
  • Training Sessions – including Manual Handling, Food Safety, Health & Safety, Basic Computer Skills, Money Management.
  • Outdoor activities – local heritage and wildlife walks at Cyfarthfa Park and Taff Bargoed Park, wildlife conservation projects, bird and bat box making, woodcraft and bush craft training, gardening and sensory garden project.
  • Voluntary opportunities – working in partnership with VAMT (Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil) MTIB aim to support individuals to gain voluntary placements. The voluntary placements currently attended by participants include retail, horse care and stable management, administration, catering and gardening.
  • Work experience – MTIB works with a wide range of employers within the Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding areas. Our Project Officers have set up a variety of placements for participants to gain valuable experience and develop their employability skills.
  • Better Off In Work Calculations (BOIWC) and benefit reviews for participants and their parents/carers.
  • Job coaching and supervision once individuals start work experience or voluntary placements. The LEAP Team Our team have a wealth of experience in working with individuals who have a wide variety if disabilities, difficulties and health conditions. Both of our Officers have been trained by the National Autistic Society (NAS) to provide specialist support to individuals on the Autistic Spectrum and in Restorative Approaches which aims to help families to build, maintain and repair their relationships

Meet the team

Gemma Thomas - gemmathomas@mtib.co.uk Senior Employment & Training Officer

  • Has worked at MTIB for over 11 years and has worked with individuals with disabilities and vulnerable adults for 10 years. •
  • Holds a PGCE (Professional Graduate Certificate in Education) and teaches a wide variety of professional and personal, accredited and non-accredited training courses.
  • NEBOSH (National Occupational Health & Safety) & POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) qualified.

Ellen Pedley - ellenpedley@mtib.co.uk Employment & Training Officer

  • Has worked at MTIB for over 2 years.
  • Has a wealth of experience in working with young people and adults who have disabilities and learning difficulties.
  • Experience in providing pre-employment support to individuals who have Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.

Sheila Ebeling - sheilaebeling@mtib.co.uk Employment & Training Officer

  • Has worked at MTIB for over a year

Mitchell Hulbert – mitchellhulbert@mtib.co.uk Receptionist & Administrative Assistant

  • Has worked at MTIB for over 3 years



Case Study

Sophie Holder

Sophie joined MTIB’S LEAP (Learning & Employment Action Project) on the 19th February 2015. Sophie has Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD and wished to receive support to develop her skill levels and gain work experience.