Quiz with Enable Me Project

Compass Quiz of 2016

We wanted to share a big thank you to Compass Accountants, particularly Natalie Farley who organised this excellent event, to help raise funds for Enable Me and Motiv8, held on 29th September.

Quiz events for charities

The total raised was £1,000 each for Enable Me & Motiv8, which will go such a long way to helping us with upcoming projects.

Great night was had by the Enable Me team, more photos will be coming soon!

Also thanks to our friends at BNI Premier for putting in a team, Chris was delighted to be a part of the group, and we did our best to answer as many questions as possible, see you again next year?

Compass Quiz for enable me and Motiv8

Diability awareness at schools

Visit to Lingfield Notre Dame School – Tuesday 20th September

Twelve 25 minute Sessions in a day at a School sounds like a Marathon but, funnily enough, not on Tuesday at Lingfield Notre Dame Junior School, where we saw pupils from Years 3 to 6!

Penny did Sessions of Boccia, Chris did his Personal Talk (despite slowly losing his voice during the day due to a bad cold) and I ran Wheelchair Relays.

Children in their Junior School years are so open with their questions and their approach to the activities we run. Yesterday was no exception! Class sizes were smaller than usual too, which helped with everyone getting a proper ‘go’ at each activity, especially the Wheelchair Relays.

The School’s hospitality and facilities were tip-top and could not be faulted. Pastries for our mid-morning break were a particular highlight for me along with a glorious spread at lunchtime – well worth the drive!

Thank you to all the Staff and pupils for making our visit such an enjoyable one.  See you again soon.

 

Written by Enable Me volunteer, Ian.

Enable Me provides training to improve disability awareness in Brighton pub

Enable Me was recently appointed by The Mash Tun pub in Brighton, where we provided the training needed to improve staff awareness and create a more inclusive environment for customers with disabilities.

The pub -having recently been in the public eye due to an incident involving a customer with a disability- made the decision to address the issue by improving disability awareness and participating in Enable Me’s training programme.

IMG_3807

Customer, Charlie Skelton (left) Pub Manager, Azzy Williams (middle) and Enable Me’s Chris Jay (right)

All of the Mash Tun’s workforce received the bespoke training, helping to improve their awareness and understanding of disability whilst also creating a more inclusive social environment.

Manager of the pub, Aaron ‘Azzy’ Williams said, “The situation we experienced last month revealed that there had been certain gaps in our disability awareness training, and that whilst staff had previously acted with license objectives in mind, our awareness and understanding of disability was in need of improvement. When this came to my attention, I wanted to tackle the issue immediately and decided to appoint Enable Me to fill the gap that existed.”

“The training was exactly what we needed.” explains Azzy, “It was insightful, informative and useful. All participating staff members found it very engaging. We now think more directly about our customers as individuals and we are conscious that assumptions are avoided. Our perception of disability has certainly improved and consequently, inclusivity in the bar has also improved following the training. We now consider ourselves an establishment that is disability aware.”

Chris Jay, our Executive Chairman was present on the training day, and added: “Disability awareness is incredibly important aspect of all workplaces, especially those involving the public. Whilst we often associate disability with wheelchair users, it is critical that we remember that a vast majority of disabilities are in fact invisible therefore, we shouldn’t expect there to be visual evidence of disability. Developing awareness creates a more understanding, knowledgeable and empathetic workforce, that will in turn help a business be a more inclusive organisation.”

If you would like to find out more about how Enable Me can improve disability awareness in your business, or if you’d like to discuss the benefits of our workplace development courses, please contact us on 01903 734400 or email chris@enablemeproject.org.uk

 

DSC_0047

How can HR departments do more to support people with disabilities?

The following article, written by our Executive Chairman, Chris Jay, was published this month on the HR Grapevine website- (see the link at the end of the article)

Changing perceptions

When it comes to providing an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities, many believe that following legislation is enough. Whilst it is critical that employers make reasonable workplace adjustments for disability, it should not be forgotten that attitudes and perceptions are equally as important.

However, a study performed by the charity Scope recently revealed that there is much to be done in terms of changing Britain’s attitude towards disability. The survey found that as many as two-thirds of the British public (67%) admitted to feeling ‘uncomfortable’ when talking to disabled people and felt ‘awkward’ about seeming patronising or saying the wrong thing.DSC_0047

The truth is, whilst a business may be applauded for its efforts in providing an inclusive working environment, these adjustments will not be enough if your staff lack an inclusive mind-set. Educating your workforce by breaking down any barriers that exist is where HR departments can change this. Often people are awkward around issues such as- ‘what terminology to use when mentioning someone’s disability’, or ‘whether it is acceptable to physically move someone’s wheelchair’- or ‘how to know when to offer help’. The solution lies in educating staff and changing how disability is perceived.

Raising awareness of disability is the best way to allow businesses to provide friendly, open, inclusive working environments, and this is best achieved through awareness training, preferably delivered by a user led organisation (meaning the courses are run by people with disabilities themselves). The content of this training should cover etiquette, communication correct use of language, and inclusive behaviour as well as legislation and adapting the business environment.

It is also important to break the common misconception that as an organisation- ‘we do not employ people with a disability, therefore adjustments are not required’. Currently 11 million people in the UK have a disability, and vast numbers of people have what are known as ‘hidden disabilities’ including sensory disabilities, a range of mental health conditions, brain Injury, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis- to mention just a few. So, it’s highly likely that as a company, you already employ someone with a disability, that you didn’t even know about.

Furthermore, it is worth considering that disability is something that can occur – in fact, only 17% of people are actually born with a disability, 83% acquire it later in life. In total, 780,000 people become disabled every year, therefore the idea that disability won’t affect an organisation is also a perception that should change.

Once staff perception of disability has been changed, the benefits are vast. Not only will your workforce have a greater empathy and understanding of the needs of other people, your business will also appeal to a wider group of talented employees. Furthermore, your company can also proudly reap the reward of publicity, when you declare your dedication to becoming and remaining a fully inclusive organisation.

To read the full article on the HR Grapevine website, CLICK HERE.

Enable Me to attend ‘Disability Confident’

We are delighted to announce that Enable Me will be attending and supporting ‘Disability Confident’ – an event designed specifically to tackle attitudes of UK businesses towards people with disabilities. The event is to be held at the Portsmouth Football Club, on 9th September 2016.

Disability Confident is an event that has been developed to enable employers to find out more about hiring people with disabilities, giving a voice to inclusive employers and local disability support organisations. The event will offer the opportunity for businesses of all types to learn more about the financial, operational and social benefits of being a Disability Confident Employer.

Enable Me will join local employers, role models and employees, and will occupy a stand at the event, where we will demonstrate what must be done to allow people with a disability to make a major contribution to local business success.

Chris Jay, Enable Me’s Executive Chairman says, “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the benefits of our Workplace Disability Awareness Programme, allowing businesses to have a firmer understanding of what is actually required to be a fully inclusive employer. Through our interactive modules we are able to show businesses how to deal with issues such as correct use of language, etiquette, communication, legislation, and the creation of inclusive business environments. We look forward to telling businesses more about this on the day.”

If you would like to find out more about attending the event, email organiser, Flick Drummond MP: flick.drummond.mp@parliament.uk

We hope to see you there … Disabibility confident event in 2016

New Trustees Required

Enable_Me_CMYKWest Sussex based charity Enable Me are seeking to recruit new trustees to join our Board of Directors. Can you spare 4-6 hours per month to help our small but expanding charity develop its work delivering disability awareness to schools, employers and the voluntary sector?

We are particularly interested in hearing from people with the following backgrounds:  disabled young people, parent-carers, teachers, accountancy/finance, social workers, police.

For an informal conversation about the role please call our Chairman, Chris Jay, on 07713349388 or email him at chris@enablemeproject.org.uk

IMG_2925

Enable Me launches new workplace disability awareness programme

Enable Me is delighted to announce that we have officially launched our new training programme that will help businesses to improve staff awareness of disability in the workplace.

The programme, delivered by Enable Me’s trainers, provides interactive modules that allow workplaces to have a firmer understanding of all areas of disability, covering issues such as correct use of language, etiquette, communication, legislation and the creation of inclusive business environments.

The content of the programme aims to challenge attitudes towards disability whilst helping businesses to promote a culture of inclusion. It also promotes a greater understanding of how to adapt your business environment, making it more accessible to people with disabilities.

Chris Jay, our Executive Chairman explains, “As well as promoting disability awareness, this programme has been developed to empower organisations with the knowledge that providing an inclusive workplace can benefit business. Currently 11 million people in the UK have a disability- yet many businesses are entirely unaware of this and may therefore be excluding disabled people and missing out on the opportunity of employing talented staff members. We are aiming to help these organisations to reap the benefits of being more inclusive, whilst also providing existing workforces with a stronger understanding of disability.”

As a charity, Enable Me is unique in that all of our services are designed and delivered solely by those who have a disability themselves.

“Our workforce is made up entirely of staff with disabilities,” says Chris, “and this allows us to be able to cover topics -such as language, legislation and inclusion- meaningfully and with great knowledge and experience on each matter.”

Research from Scope has revealed that two-thirds of the British public (67%) admit they feel uncomfortable talking to disabled people and feel awkward about seeming patronising or saying the wrong thing. Enable Me’s targeted training aims to address this by raising the confidence of members of staff by removing any barriers that exist as a result of lack of experience, understanding and knowledge.

Chris adds, “In addition to focusing on staff awareness, we aim to help businesses that may be customer facing, or that interact with the public and will inevitably encounter people with a disability. Our interactive programme aims to reinforce good practise in language and behaviour, removing any barriers that may exist, providing increased equality, choice and independence for disabled people.”

The Enable Me workplace disability awareness programme can be booked now and will be delivered in a business’s working environment. For further details on the programme, and how to book, email: chris@enablemeproject.org.uk

 

Photo of Queen's carriage

Jonty’s Blog: Celebrating HM The Queen at the 90th Birthday Celebrations

It finally came, it didn’t bode well as it was Friday the 13th. It was a bright, sky blue, hot day so we set the post code to Windsor castle and away we went. We made extremely good time getting there and entered Windsor which was fully emblazoned with red, white and blue bunting, many union jacks ,people hustling and bustling about all in all, extremely busy. We weren’t sure where to park but the Sat Nav took us straight to the King George 7th parking. We searched out a disabled bay very near to the entrance.

 

We entered the grounds and were very early but it was busy at 3pm on a warm afternoon, we only left home at about 1.30pm, leaving early so as to make a day of it. It was very warm as we wandered around the many stalls and had we worn scuffed riding boots and wax jackets we would have blended in very well. As we walked around it was strange to see all elements of the British forces wandering around and we turned one corner and coming towards us was a group of Arabic Lancers and around the next corner was a mass of Swiss guards. Not being the horsey type the array of saddles and tack didn’t appeal to me. You could buy jewellery made of horsehair and various clothes all branded for the Windsor Horse Show.

 

We decided to visit the Waitrose on site lounge and enjoyed the complimentary treats. There was a selection of treats available including decorated cupcakes and champagne. The goodie bags were given to us and we were delighted to find Waitrose organic products like strawberry jam, shortbread biscuits and lovely English tea. The seating was very relaxing and the tables had beautiful flower arrangements. The staff and waitrons were very attentive and made us feel most welcome.

 

Virtually opposite the Waitrose Hospitality Suite, our seats were in the stand, front row, mind you.
We were directly opposite the main stage and had a bird’s eye view of all the proceedings. It’s fair to say whoever said ‘So much pomp, occasion and circumstance. Only the British!’ How wonderfully true.

 

I think I mentioned before, I was not a horsey person but now can see how after being around these beautiful creatures people become totally horsiefied! I could go on a lot about the show but I could never put into mere words how utterly fantastic it was, which I hope you will see for yourself from the ITV coverage. One cannot explain how utterly jaw dropping the show was and how much the members put into it, horse or otherwise.

 

It finally came to an end and us and 4000 other guests made our way to the carpark. At one point we seemed to be in the queue for no particular reason other than it seemed like the British thing to do. We got back to the van and set the Sat Nav for home and once again sat, this time in a car queue for no particular reason. When I realised that what would have made the day absolutely perfect was if I had taken a nice warm coat with me and not been seduced by the weather earlier. Finally we made our way out of the car park and on our way home. We got in still buoyant from the days events. The show had finished at about 10.45 pm and we stepped over the threshold at 1.30 am. It seemed that on the way back the Sat Nav took us the scenic route!

 

A truly memorable experience, a huge thank you to Waitrose Rustington for selecting Enable Me as charity of choice for this event and making this possible!

IMG_1262

Activity Blog: Penny’s Thoughts from the University of Chichester Inclusion Day

The University of Chichester & Enable Me ‘Inclusion day’ was held on the 11th May and was a great success. Me (Penny), Lizzie and Chris were coaching wheelchair hockey, boccia and new age kurling for the school kids (from 3 different local mainstream and special schools) along with helping the University of Chichester coaching students feel comfortable and ready to lead their own inclusive sports sessions.

 

The kids were put into 3 groups and taken to their first sport of the day. I was coaching boccia which is a great sport which enables a mixed ability group to play alongside each other on an equal level playing field. The first session zoomed by and the next group came along. It was fun varying the game up by giving the kids different challenges and things to think about whilst they played. The last session I handed over the reins to 2 of the University students that were shadowing me. They did a fantastic job of getting stuck in and not being phased by the mixed group of ages and abilities.

 

After lunch, some of the school students had to leave but we had a fantastic last session with the remaining kids where we did some wheelchair relays/obstacle races. The kids were given many different tasks to simulate what it might be like if they couldn’t reach something on the floor so they had to use a grabber to pick a ball up, throw a ball with their eyes closed and think about spatial awareness whilst they were pushing the wheelchairs through cones. Of course, it ended up that the teachers needed a go along with the university students. The kids loved encouraging their teachers and it definitely drew out the competitive side of all the adults.

 

A great day for everyone at the University of Chichester, we hope to see you all again soon.

 

Penny Clapcott

Enable Me team at Felpham

Volunteer Blog: Amanda at Bishop Tuffnell Primary

The Enable Me Team recently visited Bishop Tufnell Primary School in Felpham, near Littlehampton. As usual, it was a busy day with nine back to back sessions.

I was either reading disability stories to the very young children or discussing “Hidden Disabilities” with the older ones. Having asked the children to draw a picture of a disabled person, I found that there were some very budding artists in my classes. I was joined on the day by Lizzie and Alex who were doing wheelchair relays and Penny who was showing the children how to play Boccia! Jan had bought her guide Dog “Harry” who was a great hit with the children whilst they learnt all about the life of a person who is blind. Alex was also with us as our  Mini Bus driver and helping hand if we needed one.

I always enjoy working with children, capturing their thoughts and hearing what they have to say! Some things they do come out with are so funny it’s hard not to laugh, especially when the teacher who is at the back is giggling! The day went really well and the children were very well behaved and the staff very accommodating.

Amanda Heath

Volunteer.