Project Description




What is the Talent Network?

It’s focus is addressing the barriers keeping Deaf and Disabled People furthest from the labour market or from reaching their potential once in work.

This is not your traditional employment project – oh no! Where people are frequently told what they cannot do, The Talent Network will help identify talents, skills and interests and find pathways to employment and training opportunities – including self-employment or enterprise creation.

As with all OPE’s work, peer support and connecting Deaf and Disabled People to their community to achieve their ambitions is a core aim of The Talent Network.

Thanks to funding from CABWI, we are able to develop a network of Deaf and Disabled People, employers, education and training providers, employment support agencies, role models, inventors, entrepreneurs and those who are just fun to have around.

The Talent Network is not just for Deaf and Disabled People aged 18 – 65 who currently are not working. It is also for people in work but feel they could further develop or change their career, if only they were supported to achieve their potential. Employers may also want to be involved, getting support in making their business more inclusive.

Talent Network Programme 2023/2024

Below is the current programme of events for the Talent Network. There will be additional courses, workshops, podcasts and employer visits scheduled during the year and added to this schedule. Some of the things to look out for include:

  • Creative Writing and Citizen Journalism Course
  • Digital Media Production Course
  • Community/Peer Researcher Course
  • Peer Leadership and Representation Training
Click on the below to see more detail of each activity See the schedule below.

Logo Design Workshop (with OPC) – Thursday 31st August 2023 2pm – 4pm

Show your creative talent and graphic design skills?

Use your skills to design a logo for our new employment and skills service ‘The Talent Network’.

Join us on Thursday 31st August, 2pm and design your own logo, to be used for ‘The Talent Network’ and we will help you with your design.

One Place East are running a competition for Deaf and Disabled People and those with lived experience of mental ill-health (of any age) to design a new logo for The Talent Network.

The winner will win a £100 shopping voucher.

For more competition information click here

LaughAble Comedy Workshop – Saturdays 16th September – 28th October 2023 10.30am – 1pm

Have you ever been out with your friends and they often describe you as the “Joker” of the group?

Have you ever watched some comedians perform Stand Up and Thought “I could do what they do!” but have been too nervous to take the plunge?

The award-winning LaughAble Comedy Workshop hosted by Mark Nicholas (As seen on The Comedy Store, The Glee Club, Backyard Comedy Club) will take you through 5 weeks of interactive, inclusive, immersive and downright entertaining exercises that will prepare you to perform hilarious jokes in front of a real live audience! On the 6th week you will get a chance to take part an ACTUAL Stand Up Comedy Night performing to friends, family and local punters of the Wanstead Community and even perform alongside a Pro!

Mark will also have his Comedy Pals to lend a helping hand along the way. Steve Day, Self-Described as ‘Britain’s Only Deaf Comedian (If there are any others he hasn’t heard!)’ and Award-Winning Performance Artist Victoria Melody 

The workshop programme is not just for people wanting to be stand-up comedians! It’s about developing great communication skills for employment or life in general. You will also have a good laugh  learning them as well as make new friends.

Me and Work (Part One) – Thursday 21st September 2024 1.30pm-4.30pm

These Network events in two parts is for those thinking about work or already in employment. The interactive session will help you think about what’s important to you. Skills, interests, what you are good at and enjoy.

At the end of this session, you will have identified goals for the future. Making the most of YOUR talent and potential. Everyone will leave with their plan of action for a happy and inclusive future. This could include further education, training, volunteering, employment, starting your own business or simply being the best you! Most importantly it will identify how you and The Talent Network together can achieve that plan.

Me and Work (Part Two) – Tuesday 26th September 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

This second Me and Work Network event will help you think about previous experiences of learning, volunteering and work. It’s important to identify the good and bad experiences, so we can learn from them.

At the end of this session, you will have identified how best you learn new things and skills, what’s important for you in the workplace and steps on the road to achieving your goals identified in Part 1.

Careers in the Games Industry – Thursday 28th September 2024 2pm – 3pm

A workshop led by a Video Games Ambassador to help you find out about exciting careers in the games industry. The Video Games Ambassadors Programme is led by UKIE the trade body for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry. It is the UK’s largest network of games industry professionals supporting educational institutions and employment projects like The Talent Network across the country. 

Softskills Workshop – Tuesday 12th October 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Soft skills are general skills that most employers look for when recruiting and are needed for most jobs. We gain soft skills in life and work. Soft skills are more likely to be the kind you pick up through life experience, like how you:

  • communicate and work with others
  • make decisions
  • organise yourself and work
  • adapt to difficult situations

At the end of this session, you will have been supported to assess your soft skills and plan how to develop those that need further development.

Transferable Skills: How to Use Them to Get a Job – Tuesday 24th October 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

In this session you will learn what transferable skills are, why they matter, and how they could help you land your next job.

Transferable, or “portable skills,” are all the skills you take with you from one job to another. They can also include the skills you use for independent living that have equal value in the workplace.

At the end of this session, you will have identified your own transferable skills and be able to highlight then to potential employers. 

London Careers Fair – Friday 3rd November 2023 10am – 2pm

An outing to the London Careers Fair at Tottenham Football Ground. It’s a chance to meet local and national employers face-to-face and apply directly for hundreds of vacancies.

It’s an chance to find out about the type of jobs available in today’s employment market with exhibitors from various sectors such as: Finance, Education, Sales and Marketing, Motoring, Human Resources, IT, Healthcare, Tourism, Healthcare, Commercial Real Estate, Biochemistry, Electronics, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Social Work, Events Management, Retail, Job Boards, Supermarkets, Banking and Pharmaceutical.

You can find out about a wide variety of roles and opportunities such as Entry Level Roles, Management Roles, Apprenticeships, Graduate Roles, Franchise Opportunities, Part-Time Roles, Full-Time Roles, Flexible Working Roles, Working from Home (WfH) Roles, CV-Advice, Career Advice, National Job Boards, and more.

The STILL Method  Work Anxiety Masterclass – Tuesday 21st November 2024 10.00am – 12.30pm

Affected by anxiety at work, or the thought of work?

This Talent Network event will be led by Stuart Thompson – Therapist, Trainer and Inspirational Speaker who will introduce The Still Method: Your secret weapon against anxiety! 🛡️💪

No vague ideas or sitting cross-legged for hours. This workshop is all about practical steps that kick anxiety to the curb.

Connected Talent – Monday 20th November 2024 6.30pm – 8.00pm Online

This will be the launch of a new online peer support network for Disabled People and those with lived experience of mental ill-health who are freelance, self-employed, work remotely or need support outside of the workplace.  To put it simply, an inclusive group for anyone who works differently providing peer support around mental health, sustaining employment and making the most of your talents.

A group that’s free to join, non-judgemental, open and supportive. There for you when starting self-employment, struggling with lone or remote working  or jus fed up not having anyone to talk to!

Digital Skills Workshop – Tuesday 5th  December  2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Essential digital skills are a step towards learning lots of other new things. They can improve your confidence to use technology for work, learning and daily life.

Many jobs today need digital skills. You need them even for jobs that do not ask for high levels of qualifications or experience. For example, if you work in a warehouse or a shop you may keep digital records of stock.

You also need digital skills every day for shopping, banking, and keeping in touch with family and friends.

At the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of the digital skills needed today. We will also support you to assess your digital skills, so you can access all the wonderful free training and support that’s available locally.

Simply the Best – Building Your Personal image, self-esteem and confidence (2 Day course) – Wednesday and Thursday 6th & 7th December 2023 10am – 4pm

This two-day course delivered by Mike Phillips is for all those who wish increase their confidence and self-esteem and take greater control of their life and career, release their potential and become the best they can be.

Mike will provide practical strategies for developing self-esteem and confidence at work. You will learn how to overcome self-doubts and develop the self- belief to further your goals and performance at work and elsewhere.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify your current strengths and development opportunities
  • Recognise the achievements, attitudes, knowledge, skills and qualities that make you unique
  • Assess your current confidence and self-esteem levels and strategies for developing them further
  • Discuss how to create a positive, confident image within the workplace
  • Use confident, assertiveness and communication skills in your work relationships and elsewhere

Careers Advice Session – Thursday 25th January 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Working with our partners in the local employment sector, this session is devoted to starting 2024 with a stronger idea of careers available and their requirements.

Using the work from previous Talent Network events, you will be able to discuss with a careers specialist what your options are.

At the end of this session, you will have a clear idea of potential careers or a plan to access further specialist careers advice locally.

STILL Method Public Speaking Masterclass – Tuesday 13th February 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

How do you feel about public speaking?Ever felt your heart racing, palms sweating, and mouth drying at the mere thought of delivering your presentation, speaking to your team or sharing your 60 seconds at a networking event?

You’re not alone.
⛽️With the right tools I believe anyone can turn fear to fuel.

This Talent Network event will be led by Stuart Thompson – Therapist, Trainer and Inspirational Speaker and will cover:

  • Dive deep into the art of turning anxiety into captivating stories
  • Strategies to exude true confidence
  • Harness your super powers to keep your audience engaged


CV Building Workshop – Wednesday 21st February 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Want to create a CV that’ll make you stand out from the crowd? Deciding on the most important things to include and explaining gaps in employment history is always a worry.

At the end of this session, you will have key tips, tricks and secrets for writing a winning CV. You will have a better understanding of what employers are looking for, and tools secure the job you want.

Evenbreak – jobs board for disabled candidates – Wednesday 20th March 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Evenbreak exists to solve a couple of big problems. Employers say they struggle to attract disabled candidates and disabled candidates say they couldn’t tell which employers are inclusive. So, they joined the dots and created an accessible job board to connect the two.

In this workshop you will get top tips on getting a job from an industry specialist supporting Disabled People into work. At the end of the session, you will know how to use Evenbreak to find jobs and the support available.

Is Self-Employment A Good Choice for Me? – Thursday 11th April 2024 1.30pm – 4.30pm

This session will feature IPSE (The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) and is for anyone within the early stages of their self-employed career or for those seriously considering self-employment in the future.

This workshop aims to help Talent Network members gain expert guidance, information about opportunities, risks and how to secure vital protection. IPSE will also explain how they can support the development of your business idea and make connections.   

Interview Skills Day – Thursday 18th April 2024 10.30am – 3.00pm

This Talent Network day event will help you make a good impression at a job interview. You will receive advice on how to prepare, how to show what you have to offer as well as tips and techniques.

Everyone will get a chance to have a mock interview that will be filmed. You can then watch back how you performed as well as a receive constructive  feedback from your peers and local employers.

At the end of this session, you will have improved your interview technique or identified what requires more work in the future. Sell yourself and your talents well – you’re worth it!  

Complete our booking form to register for the activities
Download our full events programme


For more information please contact:

  • 2nd Floor, Ilford Chambers, 11 Chapel Road, Ilford IG1 2DR