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"Feed bellies not bins" - Ryan's story

Learning Disability Services Pluss Video 15 December 2022
Ryan Lead Image

Twenty-three-year-old Ryan lives with his mum and dad in Plymouth. He’s been diagnosed with Communication Disorder on the Autistic Spectrum.

He and his family are being supported by Pluss Learning Disability Services and his Employment Advisor, Stacey.

Ryan and his mum, Nicola, started volunteering at Devon and Cornwall Food Action (DCFA) at the beginning of 2022. Since then, Ryan’s confidence and communication skills have improved beyond recognition.

“Ryan finds it quite challenging to communicate verbally,” says mum Nicola. “In fact he often finds it easier to chat by text messaging, especially if we need to talk about something that’s a bit difficult. Sometimes we text each other even when he is in his room and I am downstairs in the same house.”

So his volunteer shifts at DCFA were always going to take Ryan a while to feel comfortable.

“For the first few weeks, Ryan never spoke to me,” says Alan who runs DCFA, “then one day he said ‘hello Alan’ and that was such a brilliant moment.

“It was very emotional for me and just the beginning of what was to come. Look at him now!”

We’ve been along to visit the charitable organisation, Devon and Cornwall Food Action, at its operation in Roborough on the outskirts of Plymouth, to find out more about what goes on there, and guess who showed us around? None other than Ryan himself!

Devon and Cornwall Food Action

DCFA is a registered charity, first commissioned in 2010 with an aim to help people in food poverty by the redistribution of donated surplus produce through means tested channels.

DCFA works with most of the major supermarket chains alongside several independent food suppliers and manufacturers for the supply of surplus produce that is still perfectly fit for consumption that would otherwise have been sent to landfill or disposed of in some way, because it does not meet the food producer or supplier’s standards for sale.

DCFA operates three hubs in Plymouth, Lostwithiel and Exeter. These hubs redistribute this surplus food to other charities and organisations who, in turn, help vulnerable communities.

For more information: 🖱    📞01752 651800


Pluss Learning Disability Service (Employment)

If you have a learning disability or autism our services in Plymouth and Dorset can help you get ready for and find paid work. We will help you develop your confidence, skills and find the right job for you. Once you are in paid work, we can continue to support you.

We are funded by Dorset Council and Plymouth City Council but individuals can also purchase 1:1 employment support from their personal budgets.

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