A partnership between local housing association, Aster Group and disability charity Enham Trust is helping to break down the barriers around disability in the workplace.

As part of their work around diversity and inclusion, and its ongoing commitment to support existing and prospective colleagues with a disability, Aster worked in partnership with Enham Trust to deliver a Disability Confident workshop. The workshop focused on raising awareness of disabilities in the workplace and culminated with over 30 attendees making pledges about what Aster could do differently to improve their disability confidence. Aster has since set up a Disability Confident Group who work to support their colleagues and break down the barriers for those with a disability enjoying a positive and fair experience at work. 

Jane Pound, people director at Aster said: “Enham Trust’s expertise and support has helped us to be aware of the barriers that exist for those with a disability and what we as an organisation can do to ensure everyone has a positive experience of working with us. They were instrumental in Aster gaining its accreditation with the Disability Confident Scheme, a Government initiative that aims to help organisations recruit and retain those with a disability.”

Since the workshop, the partnership with Enham Trust has flourished, with Aster colleagues volunteering for the charity and fundraising to help raise funds. Hannah Enderby, Jo Capel, Lisa Childs, Kate Hares and Holly Herlock from Aster’s Home Ownership team took part in a skydive for the charity raising a total of £2,850.

Hannah said: “We were interested in our approach to disabilities in the workplace, but we didn’t expect the day to impact us as much as it did. All the speakers and personal accounts that the Enham Trust shared with us moved us to tears and we were so inspired by the work they do with their tenants. It was a privilege to jump for them.”

The Aster Foundation also works closely with Enham Trust providing volunteering opportunities, sharing insight on funding and grants, and linking them with social value. The Foundation invests in activities and projects which enable local people in our communities to improve their own lives.  More recently they’ve been delivering Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for employees of Enham Trust.

The two will be working in partnership to host a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 March 2020. All proceeds from the training course will go to the Trust, enabling them to continue their vital work supporting disabled people to live, work and enjoy life.

Cam Kinsella, Aster Foundation director said: “Enham Trust’s values and purpose aligns perfectly with the Aster Foundation. We value having partners who genuinely care about enabling and empowering people and communities; and look forward to working together to support one another in the years ahead.”

Sara Bradbury, director of operations at Enham Trust said: “We are thrilled to be working with Aster Group as they continue their journey to become disablility confident. There are more than 14m disabled people in the UK so it as important for businesses to untap this potential as it is fair to those capable people wanting to work.”

If you are interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aider you can book a place on the two day Mental Health First Aid Training course via the Enham Trust website.