Site search Main menu

David Lewis Centre Work Experience at Alderley Park

We would like to highlight a successful work experience partnership between one of our grantholders, the David Lewis Centre, and Bruntwood – supported via the Bruntwood’s Cares hours programme (time paid for by Bruntwood to release colleagues to work on community projects: 24 hours per colleague, per year).

The David Lewis Centre, located in Cheshire, supports adults and young people with complex needs, including learning disabilities, epilepsy and autism. At the centre they provide educational services, through their specialist school and further education college, and adult day services where individuals can develop social and vocational skills.

We at the OCT have a long-established link to the centre and have supported many projects over the years. Currently, we fund a Conservation Manager post to support the transformation of previously unused, agricultural land into an accessible, bio-diverse wildlife habitat for use by the adults and young people at the centre, as well as the local community. Through Funding Plus we have been able to connect the David Lewis Centre to Bruntwood colleagues, allowing them to explore opportunities for support via Bruntwood Cares.

From October last year to January this year, Alderley Park – the Cheshire-based life science and innovation campus managed by Bruntwood – welcomed six individuals from the David Lewis Centre for work experience. The work experience programme aimed to offer students and residents supported by the centre an opportunity to gain valuable experience and enhance their skills.

The programme lasted 10 weeks, with six individuals joining Bruntwood staff for a couple of hours per week. Participants had the chance to work in job roles that matched their interests, such as garden maintenance, reception duties and admin. By the end of the programme, each individual had become a part of the team, and were known across the site by colleagues and customers alike.

The experience gained by participants contributed to their personal and professional development, and had a significant impact on their confidence and communication abilities; they were able to build up self-assurance whilst developing essential workplace skills. This all culminated in a certificate ceremony at the end of the placement, in recognition of the successes of participants over the length of the programme.

The Alderley Park operations team found it a hugely rewarding experience to support this work experience programme, whilst the participants from the David Lewis Centre benefitted from boosted confidence and professional growth & development. We at the OCT have been very pleased to see the relationship between the David Lewis Centre and Bruntwood flourish; plans are already in place to bring a new cohort from the centre back to Alderley Park in the autumn.

You can read more about the work experience project at the David Lewis Centre’s website, here. Any businesses who are looking to create work experience programmes or jobs for people with complex needs please do contact the centre at to find out how you can get involved in future projects.