Disabled undergraduates shine at Downing Street

change100 lcdisability

(L-R) Tony Richards, Paulette Cohen, Clare Pelham, Samantha Cameron, Lucy Crouch, Mark Smith, Sophie Stowell and Malaika Haynes

  • Samantha Cameron hosts reception to celebrate talented young disabled people 
  • Sophie Stowell, 21, secures placement with Barclays through Leonard Cheshire’s innovative Change100 programme

A group of undergraduates was given a rare opportunity to meet Samantha Cameron at Downing Street yesterday (20 May). The reception was held on behalf of the leading charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.

The Prime Minister’s wife met with Sophie Stowell, Tony Richards, Karar Saeed and Lucy Crouch, who are about to take their first steps onto the career ladder. This has been made possible through the charity’s Change100 programme which offers paid work experience with high performing companies in the UK.

Currently, more than half of working age disabled people are out of work – a shocking waste of talent. The innovative programme tackles this by matching top businesses, who are always seeking top talent, with exceptional disabled students. Each participant will receive coaching and guidance throughout their three-month placement, supporting them to thrive and excel within the workplace.

Sophie Stowell, who has a visual impairment, will step up and join Barclays Retail Banking Scheme in June. Before being offered the paid placement, the Cambridge University undergraduate, who is studying Natural Science, admits her confidence was low and thought that employers would not be interested in her because of her disability.

Find out more about Leonard Cheshire’s Change100 scheme at www.leonardcheshire.org/change100

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