At ELITE Supported Employment we’re proud to be a Disability Confident Leader & this month we have the chance to celebrate the fact.
November 2019 is the third anniversary of the Disability Confident scheme. The scheme has helped ELITE Supported Employment to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to our workplace. It does this through offering tools and techniques to support recruitment and retention of disabled people.
To celebrate the anniversary, we decided to share the thoughts of our Volunteer Ambassador, Ritchii Gilbert on why it's important for organisations to become Disability Confident. Ritchii first got in touch with ELITE after finding out about one of our Cardiff based projects – he decided that volunteering was the best way to get involved with ELITE. Starting off by helping our Cardiff based Job Club out of the YMCA, Ritchii has gone from strength-to-strength taking on various volunteering roles with dedication and precision.
Given his experience, alongside his incredibly friendly personality, Ritchii was highlighted to become ELITE’s first ever Volunteer Ambassador. Assisting the marketing and volunteering teams, Ritchii attended events alongside ELITE staff members to promote our services and projects. In schools, colleges and universities; Ritchii showed us how talented he really is, engaging with hundreds of people to tell everyone about the good work ELITE carries out. Still wanting to do more, Ritchii currently assists our administration and financial departments as a Volunteer Clerical Supporter. His eye for detail and fantastic administration skills led to both departments requesting his help… naturally a compromise was made as he currently splits his time between both departments!
When discussing the scheme with Ritchii, we asked him about the positive effect working for ELITE has had and he replied;
"I love meeting new people, and if you'd said that to me 2 years ago I would not have had the confidence to do that. I would have been that person sitting on a bench pretending to listen to music just so nobody would speak to me, and now I love speaking to strangers again, which is something that I lost and I realised how sad I was to lose that."
See below discussion with Ritchii;
This scheme is particularly important to us because we see first-hand the difference inclusion can make to people in our organisation. We regularly hear stories about the positive impact a job has had on an individual and the corresponding impact they have had on a team and across the wider business. So the benefits go both ways.
Our organisation is built around getting the best person for the job, and supporting them in their work, regardless of their circumstances.
Help us to share our story, with the hope more organisations will join the scheme and become Disability Confident.