Supporting Children with Special Needs to Access the Mainstream Workplace

The Blue Tangerine Charity was created in response to a need; to ensure young people with special needs can shine in a mainstream workplace where learning and experiences are relevant and purposeful, thus celebrating the abilities of young people with disabilities.

Our purpose is to act as a resource for all young people with Special Educational Needs including those who attend one of the schools within The Blue Tangerine Federation. We do this by not only organising programmes of education, training and other activities through The Blue Tangerine Charity but by placing our communities at the heart of everything we do.

Our charitable objectives are:

(a) Advancing the life of and helping young people by developing their skills, capabilities to enable them to participation in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals;

(b) Advancing education;

(c) Relieving unemployment;

(d) To work closely with the local community to provide more opportunities for our children with Special Educational Needs.

Our Story

The Blue Tangerine Federation of Special Schools formed in 2019 with the linking of The Collett School and St Luke’s Schools.  Shortly after, the Blue Tangerine Charity was established in 2020 to support the schools’ young people.

Fewer than 6% of adults with Special Educational Needs are in employment (NHS 2024) meaning 94% are unemployed.  The Blue Tangerine Federation are determined to change the dial on this statistic.  The schools are determined to showcase every child’s individual abilities in order to create the much needed change.  Our charity’s position is the same and as such, we feel our remit goes beyond the gates of the two schools.

The Blue Tangerine Horsebox Café was launched with the goal to create life-changing work experience opportunities for their young people with SEND.   In such a short space of time, The Blue Tangerine Horsebox Café evidenced the expectation that work-related learning supported pupils’ confidence, self-esteem, functional literacy and numeracy. The horsebox cafe actively promotes a can-do approach and ensures our pupils have real-world experiences to improve chances in adulthood, along with the public seeing the abilities in disability.  The schools of the federation believe in opening up the big wide world to their young people, so why limit the possible opportunities to a café?

Therefore, The Blue Tangerine Charity was created to ensure the aims of the federation’s schools can be met with workplace learning.  We aim to create projects that have a wider reach, whilst also impacting our communities as a whole. Although separate organisations, the Charity champions the Federation’s ethos and values.

With our focus on relevant and meaningful opportunities, we have a successful café in great demand, a newly registered charity, an enthusiastic team of trustees and lots of exciting ideas, The Blue Tangerine Cafe and Farm on site at St Luke’s School is the next adventure for the charity.

This is only the beginning of The Blue Tangerine Charity, so let the story continue.