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Midlands Ability
  • Published:
    13 December
  • Area of Law:
    Firm news

Shakespeare Martineau supports Midlands Ability

The new Minister for Work and Health Sarah Newton visited the region to launch a network aimed at encouraging Midlands employers to improve workplace opportunities for people with disabilities or mental health issues.

The MidlandsAbility network, which has been created by Richard Day at KPMG, and supported by Kerry Russell, associate solicitor, at Shakespeare Martineau, seeks to drive change and improvement at work for people with disabilities and mental health issues.

Through sharing best practice on recruitment, retention, accessibility and culture change, the team at MidlandsAbility believe the network can make a real difference to the lives of many.

The network now has over 30 members, including: National Grid, HSBC, Birmingham City Council, HS2, Highways England, The Solicitors Regulation Authority and Jaguar Land Rover.

“Enabling more disabled people who want to work, into work, is vitally important. It is great to see that almost 600,000 disabled people have gained employment in the last four years, and it’s essential that we build on this,” said the Minister, who took up her new role earlier this month.

“We all have a role to play in changing the mindset around disability, and employers in the Midlands are stepping up to the challenge by creating more inclusive workplaces.

“I’m determined to maintain this momentum across the country so that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential at work.”

Almost a fifth of the working age population is disabled, yet only an estimated 49 per cent of disabled people are currently in work.

Kerry Russell added: “Disability and mental health is something I'm personally passionate about and something Shakespeare Martineau supports in terms of its staff and clients. We have to embrace everyone for their individuality and different abilities. Everyone has a part to play and being part of MidlandsAbility is one important step towards supporting those who may be overlooked for opportunities in the workplace.

“The launch event was a huge success, with over 140 attendees. I’m hugely excited about working with the MidlandsAbility network as it grows. By working together our members hope to promote, encourage and drive change as we have an opportunity to make an important difference to people’s lives".

"We’re delighted to be at the beginning of a partnership between two teams who share the same winning spirit and focus on supporting talent to achieve their potential. Everyone here has a great sense of pride and excitement to be working with Team England – a team that, after all, reflects just how much can be achieved by a diverse and varied group of individuals all focused on one goal. We can’t wait to get started."

Joanna Thornell, Client and Markets Director, Shakespeare Martineau