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Leicestershire Cares awards: Outstanding Contribution to Work with Students with Special Educational Needs and Disability

22 Sep 2022

Leicestershire Cares Education Team were delighted to present Hinckley and Rugby Building Society with the Outstanding Contribution to Employability award last night at our awards evening at Winstanley House. Huge congratulations to all the volunteers from Hinckley and Rugby Building Society.

We have run several events in special schools this year as well as the Focus on the Future project working with visually impaired young people. Congratulations go to all the following nominees who contributed brilliantly to these sessions:


Hinckley and Rugby Building Society


Leicester City Council

Time Products

Hinckley and Rugby Building Society really went the extra mile to our support our Focus on the Future project working with young people with a visual impairment. Not only did they support every employability workshop and interview technique session on our pilot programme, they supported our Steering Group too. This made such a difference to the thirteen students from across the city who participated and will also make a difference to the awareness raising campaign to promote inclusive workplaces for visually impaired people.

Fiona Spence-Arnold, Education Development Officer, Leicestershire Cares

We would also like to thank the Vision Support Team at Leicester City Council, particularly Julie Speirs for attending last night and sharing her feedback on the impact of the programme.

The workshops have had a huge impact on our students. They have opened up further conversations about the future in terms of their vision impairment and employment. We are now talking far more than ever before about careers, access to work funding, technology used to be able to do a job, having high expectations and being able to say what you need and to sell your skills.

Research indicates that people with a vision impairment are under-represented in the labour market. Research also tells us that we can begin to address this by ensuring that:
• Employers provide inclusive environments by really listening to what people with vision impairment tell them and acting on this and
• Young people have real experiences to draw upon, can advocate for themselves and develop a broad range of technology skills for
accessing information.

The workshops addressed many of these areas. Meeting real people with real industry experience, and the chance to have a slightly daunting interview was invaluable! Thank you so much to Leicestershire Cares and to the all the Employers involved for making this possible.

Julie Speirs, Senior Vision Support Specialist Teacher, Leicester City Council

We’re now recruiting for employability events in special schools as part of the We Discover project. There are many volunteering opportunities coming up this term. For more info and a list of events and dates please follow this link: Employability | Leicestershire Cares

You can also see an article on the We Discover project here: We Discover - New volunteering opportunities in special schools | Leicestershire Cares

If you’d like to get involved, please contact