Access All Areas: The Hub

Our Hub services have been put together with the aim to help children and young adults with disabilities get the absolute most from life.


Between custom built accommodation, fun clubs and respite for all the family, we’ve been extremely successful in our goal. To get an inside look on the services, we caught up our Hub Business Manager, Jami Charalambous for insights into her role and what part she plays within the organisation.

“My role as Hub Business Manager is overseeing all the various areas of our Hub services and managing the duty team. Given the nature of the Hub and its four key areas, we need a lot of hands on deck. The team comprises of over 70 flexible support workers. The hub is great for workers who want variety and flexibility in their career.

My job is to make sure business is developing, growing and increasing at a rate that is manageable. I make sure staff are working toward their full potential. If not, what can I do? What would they like to do? It is incredibly important to me that they are happy in the role, that they have a good relationship with the person in their care and make sure it is the right fit. This is a value to both individuals. The team member has much more job satisfaction and of course, the individual in our care has the best quality of life possible, as these key workers become a critical part of their lives. If they don’t like them or feel comfortable around them, it can make care difficult for everybody.

It is also my job to keep a strong working relationship with the relevant Local Authorities. With us continually evolving, it’s essential we keep them up to date with what’s going on and how we can help. A lot of our Hub services can save public money as we see more than one person with complex care needs at a time so there is less to spend, but on a deeper level, it’s invaluable to the young person to be around friends of a similar age and need. Also, we often find that the young people in our care benefit from something different to that originally considered.

We found also found that there were not enough activity groups for those in our care. It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of that change and watch it grow and be successful. The best bit about them for me is that young people can go about their day and are just doing what young people should be able to do. Getting as much of a normal social life as possible is beyond valuable.

With over 100 families to look after and a large support team, the hub has this constant buzz of energy about it. There is never a dull day! It really is exciting and rewarding to bring positive change the lives of young people.

I am incredibly proud of my department, really excited about what we are doing and look forward to the future. The hub has been a testament to the adaptability of Progress and its commitment to improving the quality of people’s lives. There is no limit to what we can do. If there is a benefit to the young people, Progress will move heaven and earth to make it happen.”

We’re incredibly proud of the progress the children and young adults in our care make on a daily basis. The Hub plays a big helping hand in that. For more information give us a call on 01902 561066 option 1, email or check out

Blog by Issie – 16 year-old daughter of Progress staff member

The feeling of buying something new never gets old!


Like most other teenage girls, my interests are fashion, makeup and music and regardless of any disability, the young girls supported by Progress are probably the same. I believe myself to be extremely lucky that I have no difficulties or disabilities but I can imagine for girls that do, it could prove harder to do things like go shopping.

Because I have a Saturday job in the village store and tea rooms, I always have some money to spend on clothes and makeup, like the pink fluffy coat I just ordered online! If you want to get a part time job but are worried you are limited for choices because of a difficulty or disability, don’t worry because Progress supports young people to get work experience and then paid employment. If you want help with this, get in touch!

Fashion is something quite important to me along with many other women around the world. It allows me to express myself and have my own personal style. My favourite shops to buy fashion clothes from are Topshop, Missguided, Asos and Primark. I also like to shop in New Look and H&M. My favourite style at the moment is 90’s themed, which is what a lot of celebrities and popstars are wearing right now too. I don’t always follow what celebrities and popstars are wearing but I think it’s a great place to look for inspiration for your own wardrobe.

Missguided launched a campaign called #keeponbeingyou and recently interviewed Shelby Lynch, a 20 year-old YouTuber from England. Shelby doesn’t let anything stand in her way when it comes to achieving her dreams and she hopes to one day open her own fashion label, specifically catering for people with disabilities. She believes that diversity is very important when it comes to the fashion industry.

If you have a difficulty or disability it shouldn’t mean that you’re limited to what you aspire to be. There are so many fashion models and strong independent women affected by disabilities. For example, Jillian Mercado is an extremely successful fashion model and wheelchair user. Kelly Knox, who was born without a left forearm, is Britain’s leading disabled fashion model. From the age of seven she refused to wear a prosthetic arm and throughout her career she has paved the way for other aspiring models and offered inspiration to those who need to develop confidence, despite regular negative attitudes towards disability.

Another job that shouldn’t be limited by difficulties is acting. Jamie Brewer is a famous actress who was born with downs syndrome. This has not affected her being able to take on a huge role in a popular American TV series and she recently walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.

Our Hub services can help you with things like shopping, work support and managing your finances, if you’d like to find out more about Progress get in touch with us today!

Our Recent Investors In People Review

We are incredibly proud of recieving GOLD in this year’s Investors in People (IIP) new assessing standards.

Since our last IIP blog, we have been under assessment which has come to an end in November. Over the festive period, we have been waiting for the results. Here’s what our HR Manager, Emma Ruffinato had to say: I am absolutely delighted that we achieved gold this year. I knew it was going to be challenging, but the way the team have feedback is brilliant. I think the staff should be really proud of the recognition for working for a desirable employer and the reason, for them, is because of them.

Over the decade that we’ve engaged IIP, from early on, we’ve managed to consistently uphold the gold status. Last yearIIP reevaluated their assessment criteria. They decided to create a more rigorous framework. They created a platinum level in which organisations can raise the bar up to.

We knew to get platinum straightaway with the updated framework would be unachievable. To maintain our gold status is brilliant. Especially when measured with the new standards. When we compare our new ranking to previous years, we can see the key areas where we have dramatically improved. Something we strive to do on a daily basis.

With the goal of evolving daily, we have taken the new framework and set to reach all qualifying targets. Improving our processes along the way. It is not a box ticking exercise by any means. Any changes we put in place only mean we are engaging with our staff teams in a better way; which is precisely what IIP is all about.

It’s not about the people in our care or us, but the people in our organisation; how they feel about working for the business and how much we hear their voice. It’s also about how much they can get involved in the decision making processes and how much they understand the overall strategy. Ultimately, IIP is the measure of a quality employer; highly IIP accredited businesses are recognisable as the type of organisations that you want to work for. To get gold is a direct reflection of the collective hard work of everyone here at Progress.

Emma states: It’s not about the organisation it is about the team holistically. For me, this is an achievement everybody should be celebrating. We wouldn’t be recognised the way we are without them.

What’s next? Of coursewe do want the platinum level. For us, that means to dig deep, highlight the critical areas of improvement, and set to work. Since our last review 12 months ago, we’ve already seen significant results. Four of the areas in the framework we have improved on since last time and four we’ve already hit the ceiling and couldn’t do it better. Out of nine areaswe think this is fantastic news.

Fundamentally where do need to improve by 2019 is recognising and rewarding high performance.

The good news is we’ve already done lot of the legwork to achieve this. We started by just talking to the team. Rather than assume what was important to them, it was important to us to hear from them directly. To ask how they felt. What made them feel valued. Sadly, we can’t hand out juicy fat cash bonuses (as much as we’d like to) but we can reward people in other ways that mean something to them.

This is our key area of focus. We set up the staff forum to give us a platform for the team to have their say. It is a handy tool to get an accurate picture to see how staff are feeling. To discuss what’s working well, what needs to change, what would they like to say, etc. It took a while to embed, but now people are feeling more confident. They are actively contributing, with invaluable opinions that we can put towards positive change. We look forward to watching the team develop on their own individual journey as we progress and grow. After allwe are all in it together.

Read more news here.