Disabled people helped back into work by NBRN connection

Retailer John Lewis has paved the way for disabled people to find employment thanks to a National Business Response Network (NBRN) connection.

One of Britain’s best-known retailers has paved the way for disabled people to find employment thanks to a National Business Response Network (NBRN) connection.

Department store John Lewis donated three top-of-the-range laptops to the Birmingham branch of Sense, a national charity supporting children and adults with complex disabilities, including deafblindness. 

The laptops will be a key resource at the branch’s job clubs, which serve 32 people. Users will be able to borrow the devices to search for employment and create CVs from home and at the centre. 

The donation came in January after Sense asked for support through the NBRN, a Business in the Community (BITC) initiative supporting vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sense fundraising manager, Carl Williams said: “Many of the people we support are deafblind and explore the world through touch. With our centres closed during lockdown, this has caused greater isolation.”

Before the pandemic, those with disabilities were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those without. COVID-19 has threatened to exacerbate this inequality – something Sense has looked to tackle though its Aspirations For All project, which began in 2019.  

Carl said: “These laptops can be installed with software to help those with visual impairments. They can build our users’ confidence and offer a route to help them back into work. Thank you to John Lewis for arranging this really generous donation.”

Technology sales manager, Manoj Jadeja of John Lewis for Business said: “We are glad the laptops were beneficial. Hopefully the job clubs will go from strength to strength. Through our work with the NBRN we are happy to help worthy causes like Sense.” 

BITC formed the NBRN in the wake of the first national coronavirus lockdown as an initiative to give vital support to vulnerable communities. 

The network connects businesses with community organisations across the UK to harness the resources and expertise needed to help them build back. It has already made more than 3,500 connections.

Visit the National Business Response Network’s (NBRN) platform and pledge your support.

If you would like to request support please visit the National Business Response Network (NBRN) platform.