The campaign aims to source internships and work opportunities for those with special educational needs (SEN).
The big names included ITV news presenter Fred Dinenage, British wheelchair rugby athlete Steve Brown, TV personality Lizzie Cundy, tennis player and TV presenter Andrew Castle, British Paralympic athlete Danny Crates, and Paralympic rowing champion Naomi Riches, all of which have got behind the campaign in the #sayYEStoSEN video. You can view the video here: https://vimeo.com/237897751
The launch event was held in Bournemouth and attracted over 150 businesses from Dorset and Hampshire and celebrity speakers included Jules Robertson from BBC’s Holby City, who informed people about his personal experience with dealing with Asperger’s in the acting world. He was joined by his mother, the internationally acclaimed writer Kathy Lette, and comedian Rosie Jones. There were also talks by professional speakers from within the local business sector. You can view the video of the event here: https://vimeo.com/239783248
Steve Brown who recently appeared on the BBC programme Without limits – Vietnam said, “Special educational needs and disabled people can have such strength and resilience. They can bring an amazing energy to a workplace and the skills they have acquired through life makes them quality staff for a business. I was delighted to be asked to be involved with such a great campaign.”
Kathy Lette commented, “What my son has taught me is that there is no such thing as normal and abnormal, just ordinary and extraordinary – and people on the spectrum have a lateral, literal, tangential logic which is truly original and fascinating. My own son is Wikipedia with a pulse. We now know, with diagnostic hindsight, that Mozart, Orwell, Van Gough, Warhol, Steve Jobs and many other brilliant artists and scientists, were on the autistic spectrum. If only employers could learn to think outside the box, then autistic people could give back to society in the most amazing ways.”
Adrian Gunner, Principal of SWRAC adds, “Recently I heard the shocking statistics that in Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole there are 8,000 people with special educational needs, and of that 8,000 only 500 are in paid work, which shows we are at the beginning of a very long journey and hopefully this campaign is the start of that.”
To find out more, visit: www.supportedinternships.org.uk. For information about how your business can get involved email SarahJenkins@swrac.ac.uk
Please share post: