When she was a tiny tot, she pretended to frost imaginary cakes. And her mum had to tell her more than a few times to stop playing with the oven.
But as Abbe grew up, her mom knew something was different about her. She was behind in school and had difficulty doing basic tasks. Eventually, it was clear she had a learning disability, putting her dream of becoming a baker at risk.
Determined to see Abbe’s dream come true, her mother set out to find somewhere that could help. A place that could teach Abbe at her own pace, giving her the skills she needed to make it on her own. And that's when she found Langdon.
Founded by four parents who also had children with learning disabilities, Langdon is an assisted living centre for communities in Manchester and North London. It offers everything to help youth live independent lives, including classes, social workers, and housing that ranges from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom houses. It has drastically altered the life trajectories of hundreds of youth.
- Daniel Bacall, Langdon Head of Marketing
A key to Langdon's success in placing youth like Abbe is online learning. One recent online life skills class boasted 200 students. But the technical challenges of running online courses were starting to get in the way of the organization’s good work.
Teachers and students couldn't access material remotely – a must in the mobile age. And they were running out of digital storage space for class. What good is learning if you can't save what you learned?
But simply dumping a new IT interface on everyone wouldn't do. Students and social workers were accustomed to accessing information in Microsoft Office – and they didn't have the time or money to train everyone on a totally new system.
Langdon needed help. If they wanted to be there for youth like Abbe in the future, they knew they had to find a new way of running things. Fortunately, they found just the right partner.
To make sure Langdon always had the tools needed, cloud system experts Cloudamour implemented Microsoft Office 365. The system made the shift to cloud storage simple for users who weren't computer experts.
Teachers and students can now access class info wherever they are, in real-time. The expanded space gives them access to all their legacy information and the ability to fill it with more class work, without having to worry about running out of room.
Now, not only can the school meet current demands, it can also expand to meet even more. With the new, flexible system, more youth can enjoy the benefits of Langdon. "Since moving to the cloud, not only are our systems more reliable, but we can scale at a pace that we never thought possible," says Bacall.
Langdon has ambitious plans for growth over the next years. Meaning that more and more young adults like Abbe will benefit from the help they can give.
Young adults like Abbe get skill development and interview preparation to help them transition from Social Security benefits to paid employment. Some do gardening, and others take fresh eggs and herbs to local restaurants. Learning disabilities no longer prevent them from contributing to the community.
Meanwhile, Abbe is happy mixing and baking.
With help from her caseworker, Abbe found a job at a local bakery. There she bakes cakes like she always dreamed, and her co-workers couldn't be happier. Her boss calls her "absolutely brilliant," and says if it wasn't for Abbe, they couldn't take as many orders.
And Abbe? "If it wasn't for this job," she says, "I'd be stuck at home doing nothing. Langdon gives me the independence I need to do what I want without worrying what people will say."
Thanks to her dogged persistence and a life-changing assist from Langdon and Cloudamour, Abbe's mom can now beam with pride about the direction of her daughter's life. Cake is sweet, but it's nothing compared to seeing your little girl live her dreams.
Cloudamour is an energetic and innovative organization that focuses on powering better businesses by accelerating their performance through utilizing the power of the cloud.
Work gives us all a sense of purpose and dignity, and we are grateful for the support of businesses of all types and sizes who employ Langdon people on a full- or part-time, paid, or unpaid basis.
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