I’m here to introduce I Can Make It, Disability Rights UK’s latest campaign funded by Comic Relief and ask for your support. This three year campaign aims to lower the gap in employment between disabled people and non-disabled people, mainly through using existing spending by businesses and local government to make new jobs, by favouring businesses that will recruit disabled people in the award of tenders.

As you’re probably aware we’re going through the various different channels of trying to reach our target audience including making some rather nice videos. However we’re also trying to bring the campaign face to face with the people who should make up that campaign, in other words disabled people aged 18-25 themselves in different key cities across England. One way we want to recruit disabled people is through face to face meetings. This is a relatively new way of recruiting volunteers for a national campaign however given that we’re doing something relatively new we’re keen to try different methods. We’ve set ourselves some pretty high targets including 500 jobs through our work with supply chains in local authorities over three years. Admittedly this is rather daring yet some challenges need inventive ways to solve them.

But wait one moment… surely this campaign is a needless distraction that your clients could do without?

After all, some of them may be already volunteering and getting nowhere in their job search. However this campaign, although it won’t lead to opportunities of direct employment with Disability Rights UK ourselves, it could help people put themselves in a position to be employed. After all speaking to decision makers whether in businesses or local government is something that, with training, can build confidence and self-esteem. Network Volunteers will also gain specific knowledge in areas such as local government procurement and tendering which could help them when applying for jobs and developing in jobs, in these disciplines.

Our first priority for these meetings is recruitment. After all less than twelve volunteers means a small campaign that can’t have the impact we want and other disabled people need. However where possible we’re also looking to have a conversation with disabled jobseekers about the obstacles to employment that they’re facing or have faced. This is because one of ʻ I Can Make Its ʼ other objectives is to tackle existing barriers to disabled people being employed and we could use some current information on what obstacles disabled people are currently facing and how we can get around them. Think of this as a way for your clients to make their voices heard and acted on.

If you think that this is something that disabled jobseekers in your city who are aged 18-24 would be interested in then please e-mail me on leo.capella@disabilityrightsuk.org alternatively you can call me on 0207 250 8193.

Thank you for diverting your attention from your work in reading this post… and hopefully I’ll be hearing from you and your organisations soon.

Leo Capella