2 January 2019
Representatives from Services for Independent Living (SIL) were invited to the Speaker’s residence in the Houses of Parliament in December to celebrate the anniversary of the Disability Confident Scheme.
The invitation was sent to SIL because it is the only organisation in Herefordshire which has been awarded Disability Confident Leader status. Gemma Lewis, Head of HR, and her assistant Karen Hunt, took the early morning train from Leominster to join others in the State Rooms to meet with the Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP.
The scheme helps employers think differently about disability, and improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers. The Minister thanked those attending for ensuring their workplaces make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace.
Euan McPherson, SIL’s CEO, said: “SIL is an organisation led by disabled people for disabled people and this is wonderful recognition of how we encourage and support disabled employees. We are currently looking for disabled people to join our Board of Trustees and I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact me”.
In order to become a Disability Confident Leader organisations must demonstrate that they have increased their understanding of and challenge attitudes towards disability; remove barriers to disabled people and those with long term health conditions in the workplace; and ensure that disabled people in their workplace have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
After 22 years of working in the county SIL already has an excellent record of supporting disabled people to remain independent. Now it can also be seen as a trailblazer for being an employer of disabled people too.
Photos: Gemma Lewis, Head of HR, and Karen Hunt, HR Admin Officer, inside the Speaker’s Chamber, Houses of Parliament