Pictured is James Parker, centre, former Disability Action Yorkshire apprentice now full-time employee, with care home customers Nick Moxon and Eliza Bennett
A Harrogate charity is the first in North Yorkshire to be awarded official recognition for its work in championing disabled people in the workplace.
Disability Action Yorkshire has started its 80th anniversary year by achieving Disability Confident Leader status, meaning that it is now ranked as a regional – and national – force for helping disabled people gain employment.
The accolade, from the Department of Work and Pensions, oHornwill see the charity, which is based on Hornbeam Park, continue to help other organisations take the steps to become “Disability Confident” employers.
Around 3,300 organisations across the UK have Disability Confident status, meaning they have made efforts to include and support disabled workers in their organisation.
However, in Disability Action Yorkshire’s case, it is entering a much more exclusive club as only 15 other organisations in the country have become Disability Confident Leaders.
This recognition comes on the back of it being assessed as both Disability Confident itself, and working with employers throughout the district to be in a positon to employ people with disabilities.
Jackie Snape, Disability Action Yorkshire’s chief executive, said: “This accolade comes at the beginning of a momentous year for our organisation.
“To begin our 80th year with this recognition is a huge reward for everyone involved in our organisation.
“This accreditation is not just a sign of what we have already done but what we are going to do in the future.
“A central part of being a Disability Confident Leader organisation is that it is not just about past merit, but is an ongoing process of teaching, informing and helping other organisations and people to challenge attitudes and change ideas about disability.
“Many disabled people want to live independent lives, and part of that involves having a job. One of our key aims is to get more local disabled people into employment, and we have the skills to help them – and potential employees – achieve this.”