Convener supports charity to inspire young disabled people

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, was this week shadowed by David Nicholson as part of CSV's Inspiring Disabled Young People initiative. Read CSV's full press release here.

Twenty-five-year old David Nicholson, is one of 100 disabled young people with physical and learning difficulties helping launch ‘Inspiring Disabled Young People’, a new initiative to inspire disabled young people into work and tackle employer’s misconceptions about hiring disabled employees. 

Organised by the UK’s leading volunteering charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and funded by the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), David spent today (Wednesday 3 December) shadowing Councillor Lesley Hinds of City of Edinburgh Council. 

David Nicholson and Cllr Hinds

With a keen interest in politics, David who has Asperger syndrome – a form of autism, shadowed Cllr Hinds as she attended a meeting of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority and a meeting discussing how best to promote Edinburgh City Centre. 

David said: “This is my first placement in local government thanks to CSV’s new initiative. It’s been a great day and has really boosted my confidence. It’sgiven me an insight into how it all works and I hope to stand for election to Council or even Parliament some time in the future. 

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “This is a fantastic initiative to encourage young people of all abilities to follow their ambitions and raise awareness amongst employers. 

“It’s great to find a young person with such an interest in local politics and I have spent a productive day with David, who demonstrated enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Being a politician is open to anyone regardless of their background or disability so I hope this day might inspire him to pursue a political career here in Edinburgh or further afield.” 

Inspiring Disabled Young People will see 100 young people across the UK take part in three work shadowing days over the coming six months. 

They include teenagers with partial paralysis, speech impediments, autism and other physical and learning difficulties who have been unable to find paid employment. 

Throughout December 30 young people, aged between 16 to 25-years-old will shadow employees across government, retail, hospitality, science and the charity and public sector to gain valuable work experience. 

Placements include the Cabinet Office, Waitrose, Drumbrae Leisure Centre and the Police alongside shadowing placements with a car mechanic, landscape gardener and a vet.

Oonagh Aitken, CSV Chief Executive, said: “CSV provides volunteering opportunities for disabled people and we know the barriers that many of them face into work, particularly during the transition from leaving school into their first job.
“Despite having many valuable skills, disabled people are often unable to find work and employers worry about accommodating any extra needs they may have or any additional costs they might incur.

“The reality is that many disabled people are able to work and desperately want to be in paid employment. I’m delighted that 23-year-old Courtney has been shadowing me at CSV. I hope her placement, like those of other young people, will inspire her into a future career, help her gain real work experience and show her that many employers like those taking part in this initiative, do value and employ disabled people.”

Read the original press release on CSV's website.

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