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A lot of interesting developments on I Can Make It to close 2017

15 December 2017

‘Save the Date’ notices have been sent out for I Can Make A Pledge, our event to be held on the 20th of March 2018 at The Financial Times.

At the event employers can either pledge a specific number of jobs for young people with disabilities, or pledge to make it a requirement of some of the services that they contract. An agenda will be sent out nearer the time but there will be some key speakers, opportunities to meet our Champions, chat to the I Can Make It and Disability Rights UK team, make new contacts and discuss ideas on getting more young people with disabilities and health conditions into employment.

Formal invitations will be sent out in the New Year but ahead of that, if you know your organisation would like to participate, or you would like further information regarding the event, then please e-mail us at: icanmakeapledge@disabilityrightsuk.org

On Wednesday 13th December, our Policy and Development Manager, Philip Connolly, delivered a presentation to the Government Construction Board, the group of senior civil servants that oversees the government’s construction strategy. In his presentation, which we would encourage you to view, Philip called on the government to make sure that major construction and engineering contracts specify inclusive recruitment and retention practices for people with disabilities.

On the same day Leo Capella accompanied Rabia Lemahieu, DR UK’s Disability and Skills Manager to meet with Doctor Stephen Rosevear, Skills Director for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. The meeting was to discuss ways I Can Make It and Disability Rights UK can assist the combined authority to provide more opportunities for disabled people and people with health conditions. This was a follow up from an earlier meeting in July with James Palmer the Mayor of the combined authority. We now look forward to working in partnership, developing their strategies on inclusivity, and to being introduced to further members of the authority including their director for housing and transport.

These developments help bring to an end what has been a very productive and defining year for I Can Make It. Recent highlights include Andy Street the Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority committing to opening up job opportunities for people with disabilities using Social Value as the driver. This followed on from Leeds City Council circulating our Model Contract Clauses. Earlier in the year we also held our own event that brought young people with disabilities together with professionals in procurement: I Can Make It Exchange.

Anne Lythgoe presents. Also in the picture from left to right Our Champions Rahul Tooray, Kathryn Woodhead, Jonathan Mears, Hannah Ross, Heather Richardson and Luke Johnson.

We have also made exciting progress with Liverpool City Council and Hertfordshire County Council. Our Champion for I Can Make It in Hertfordshire, Bethany Young, later appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme!

 We were featured in resources including one for suppliers at North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, endorsed by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr and recently praised for our 'valiant efforts' in 'Our Money, Our Future' – a  report written by Chris White MP,  author of The Social Value Act and published by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK).

Our champions have also made great strides over the year. Several of them have new jobs including Heather Richardson, our champion for Essex, Kathryn Woodhead ,a champion for I Can Make It in Greater Manchester, and Sana Shah a Champion for I Can Make It in South Yorkshire, who is now working as a Paralegal at DLA Piper. Hannah Ross, Champion for I Can Make It In the North West, as well as finding a job, released her debut album! Hannah’s album is entitled ‘what are the natural forms’, and has been played multiple times on BBC 6 Music.

And former champions have gone on to do interesting things, for instance Will Case, former champion for I Can Make It in Manchester, stood down to start his own social enterprise.

Will Case former Champion for I Can Make It in Greater Manchester

We thank all our champions past and present for their efforts, as well as our partners who have helped the campaign progress as far as it has this year. Next year we’re looking forward to meetings with the Infrastructure Client Group and West Midlands Combined Authority Social Value Taskforce Group , continuing on the road to I Can Make A Pledge and ultimately being victorious in our aims as well as valiant in our efforts.

 For now though, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas (or Chanukah) and a prosperous New Year.