St Helens Borough Council has reinforced its commitment to supporting people with disabilities both in its workforce and in local communities, with the signing of the Disability Impact Pledge.
The Disability Impact Pledge has been designed by the Disability Policy Centre, an independent social enterprise dedicated to improving public services and breaking down barriers for disabled people.
Representatives from disability community organisations – including St Helens Mind, Deafness Resource Centre, and Buzz Hub – and disabled officers from the council’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Network, were invited to attend and witness the signing by Council Leader Councillor David Baines, Chief Executive Kath O’Dwyer, and Equalities Champion Councillor Jeanie Bell.
The pledge aligns with the council’s existing Equality, Inclusion and Diversity (EDI) Strategy, setting out the ways in which the organisation will work together with staff, partners, and the community, to ensure the council workforce are trained and equipped to provide accessible, safe, and inclusive services.
As a lead organisation in the borough, the council is signing the Disability Impact Pledge to promote its continued commitments to work together with disabled people and their community organisations to coproduce solutions, ensure public buildings and council services are accessible and welcoming
ensure people can contact the council through a variety of inclusive means, and that its website and online communications are clear and easy understand and available in a variety of formats.
And as a Disability Confident Employer the council is signing the Disability Impact Pledge to promote its continued commitments to use flexible working, assistive technology, and other reasonable adjustments to support disabled staff and job applicants, guarantee interviews for disabled job applicants who meet essential criteria, and provide Supported Internship placements for disabled people
Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s Equality Champion and Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:
“As both a major employer and a lead organisation for St Helens, we are committed to creating a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive borough, based on the vision that everyone is included, has a voice, and is empowered to influence, through the values of trust, integrity, collaboration, innovation.
“For us, this pledge represents our continued commitment to advancing equality, valuing diversity and promoting inclusion for all in our communities.”
Chloe Schendel-Wilson, Co-Founder and Director of the Disability Policy Centre, said:
“We are thrilled to see St Helens Borough join the growing list of councils across the country who have committed to sign the Disability Impact Pledge.
“This is a clear sign from St Helens that they are committed to putting disabled people, who make up one in five adults in the UK, at the heart of their community. We look forward to this journey ahead with the team.”
For more information about the council’s work to advance equality, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/equality.