Loud voices welcome!

Have you ever thought about spending a day cheering on Team Scope event participants? That’s exactly what Thomas, 19, did last weekend when he supported our 230 London to Paris 24 cyclists as they departed from Blackheath, London.

Thomas Volunteering at L2P24“I had a really nice time today watching the cyclists at the starting line in Blackheath. We came along to cheer them on. There were hundreds of bikes! I shouted ‘you can do it!’ and ‘keep going’ after we counted down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go!  We had fun and it was great because it was a sunny day.

We met Rachael, a Scope trustee who gave a speech. We met Sarah, Emily, Alan and Tom from Scope. There were a lot of people who were there raising money.

I think I was the loudest cheerer. At the end I said, ‘phew, I really, really need a drink now. Wasn’t that good’.

I’m looking forward to volunteering in Bexleyheath Scope shop on Sunday. I’m going to tell all my friends there about the Scope cheering.”

It’s lovely to hear how much Thomas enjoyed his day. The London to Paris 24 2013 event has already raised nearly £300,000 for Scope’s vital work and the money is still coming in! We have lots of events coming up over the next few weeks and months including the Virgin Active London Triathlon and the first ever Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 – we would love you’re help to make them as great as possible for our supporters. All you need to bring is energy, enthusiasm and the ability to make lots of noise! If you would like to get involved and volunteer then please do email us at events@scope.org.uk or call 0207 619 7270.

How can we better support disabled people’s career journeys?

Guest post from Rob Trotter, Public Policy Advisor (Employment and Skills) at Scope.

The current labour market is a challenging place for disabled people. Over half of all disabled adults are unemployed. Most want to work but can face extraordinary barriers to finding and retaining a job.

Employment support – to help disabled adults find, prepare for and progress in work – is a vital part of removing these barriers. This can be anything from financial support like Access to Work, to help to find vacancies and prepare for interviews.

It’s welcome that the Government has announced in the 2013 Spending Round that £350 million will be available for employment support programmes. This investment could prove a vital lifeline for disabled people at every stage of their careers, from the first steps in looking for a job, to the support needed to progress.

But the challenge is that current employment support programmes aren’t yet effectively supporting disabled people. For instance, only 2.9% of Employment Support Allowance claimants – nine in 10 of whom are disabled people – have found a job through the flagship Work Programme. Too often, programmes focus only on job ‘outcomes’ rather than the needs of the person.

So today, five leading disability charities have published a major report setting out new ways to improve employment support for disabled people.

The report – Work in Progress: Rethinking employment support for disabled people – calls for a personalised, multi-agency approach which focuses on empowering disabled people to lead their own career journeys.

The report recommends that:

  •  There needs to be greater involvement of employers in the design and delivery of employment support
  • The Government should incentivise greater localisation of employment support for disabled people in order to stimulate innovation
  •  A more targeted approach should be taken for young disabled people who face particular challenges and often cannot access effective support

It also outlines how the quality of support can be improved, and calls for much greater empowerment and involvement of disabled people in their own journeys through work.