Are you a young disabled person living in London looking for employment support, or an organisation looking to broaden your employment opportunities?

Then do find out more about our Moving Up project, and the ways we can work together.

Trailblazers, MDUK’s network of young disabled campaigners, started the Moving Up project in 2015. This was in response to our investigation into young disabled people’s access to employment, where we found there was a lack of employment and work experience opportunities open to young disabled people. The Moving Up project offers work experience placements and other opportunities for young disabled people, as well as opportunities to work with employers to improve employment opportunities.

Our Ready and able report, published in May 2019, also set out the barriers and possible solutions to disabled employment.

Placements

We can offer disabled Londoners aged 16-30 mentoring, support and hands-on work experience in a range of areas, including:

  • care and support
  • outreach, commissioning and professional development
  • campaigns, policy and parliamentary work
  • research
  • communications
  • digital communications
  • fundraising events
  • regional fundraising
  • corporate fundraising
  • trust fundraising
  • volunteering
  • HR

You can read more about all the areas of work and what you might be doing, here.

We offer flexibility in length of placement, hours and the possibility of remote working. We also provide equipment to make the workplace accessible and give you what you need to do the best job possible.

Get involved!

If you’d like to be considered for a Moving Up placement, please fill out this short survey online. You can also download a pdf of our participants’ brochure to find out more.

If you’re a company looking to make a difference to young disabled people’s employment prospects, and you’re interested in partnering with Moving Up, you can download a pdf of our partners’ brochure here.

For more information about placements, events and careers resources, as well as information on our policy work, please get in touch with Emma Vogelmann, Work Experience Development Officer, at MovingUp@musculardystrophyuk.org.

Here is what participants have to say…

 

Participant Jack McLellan, who went on to secure a permanent position as an HR Assistant, advised young disabled people:

If possible come on the Moving Up project. Work experience is a safe environment to test what adjustments you need and what working hours you can do. There are so many different areas of work on offer, there’s something relevant to everyone. 

Oona Elonen who also went on to secure a position as a Supporter Services Assistant, blogged:

MDUK was able – and willing – to accommodate all of my needs, so that the placement would be as enjoyable and smooth as possible and so that I could get the most out of it. I was able to develop my skills more than I thought I was going to! It just proves how a seemingly minor work or volunteering opportunity can prove extremely helpful! 

Hannah Sosna, who completed a six-month placement with our digital communications team, writes:

I’m not quite sure what the future holds yet but working at MDUK has definitely given me a better understanding of what it is like to work in a large office environment. I’ve also gained more skills and experience, such as data entry, scheduling social media posts and research. Without the MDUK placement, this type of experience would have been very difficult to get, so I’m very grateful for having the opportunity of working with such a nice, professional and welcoming team. If anyone is thinking about applying to the Moving Up project, I definitely would recommend it. The office is lovely and everyone is really friendly. 

Ongoing Employment Support

After you’ve finished your placement with us, we want to stay in touch. There are various opportunities for you to make sure your training doesn’t stop when you leave our office. We’ll invited you to take part in the following opportunities:

  • external placements: we work with a network of external partners who offer placements in their offices

Christine Lee, who had an external placement at Wall to Wall, writes:

Before the placement, I had never considered a career in media, but now I realise how important television is in shaping society and I feel more positive towards the industry. I would urge young disabled people to consider taking up placements in media companies so you can experience working in the industry. 

  • mentoring and careers advice
  • a range of events, including our Disability Employment Rights training sessions

Shani Minogue, who helped organise a Disability Employment Rights session at her university, says:

I thought I knew a fair amount about what my rights were when entering employment. However, the session taught me a new wealth of knowledge that I was completely unaware of before, and knowledge I know that will benefit me massively in the future (as well as the disabled students I will be helping!). Especially regarding things like Access to Work, with this scheme being something I only had vaguely heard of before, the session gave me a new-found comprehensive understanding of this. It was incredibly useful, not just for knowing what I am entitled to from employers, but also for what I might need in the future, should the severity of my disability fluctuate.

Partnerships

We’re always on the look out to partner with companies and professionals in London to provide external placements for our participants, to speak at one of our events and to become mentors.

We can offer help and support in offering placements, expert advice on recruiting disabled people and the opportunity to contribute to improving work opportunities for young disabled people. If you’d like to work with MDUK to become a more inclusive employer, please get in touch with Emma Vogelmann, Work Experience Development Officer, at e.vogelmann@musculardystrophyuk.org

Luke Fisher from creative agency, 20Ten, who has offered Moving Up work placements, says:

Working with the Moving Up programme has helped us to understand some of the challenges that disabled employees face. We love that the programme gives us the opportunity to help support the growth and development of some really talented individuals.

If Moving Up isn’t the right fit…

Here are just a few other organisations that offer work experience opportunities for disabled people:

Mencap

Whizz Kidz

Leonard Cheshire

Ambitious about Autism

Central London Works

My AFK

 

Useful links

Access to Work – if the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.

You’ll be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

An Access to Work grant can pay for:

  • special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings
  • help getting to and from work

 

List of employers who are Disability Confident – the Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives.

The Disability Confident scheme has three levels designed to support employers on their Disability Confident journey. Employers must complete each level before moving on to the next.

 

Trailblazers volunteering opportunities

We would like to see employment opportunities improve for disabled people of all ages and throughout the country.

If you live outside of London or are over the age of 30, we still want to help support you into work. As well as our events and careers resources, you can apply to volunteer with Trailblazers, who also offer work experience opportunities.

Please sign up to Trailblazers here

Keep in touch