Whizz-Kidz are working hard to transform the lives of young wheelchair users across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults. We empower young wheelchair users by providing the wheelchairs, equipment, support and confidence-building experiences they need, and campaigning for a more inclusive society.
Our range of services includes an employability offering, which ensures young wheelchair users (aged 14-25) are equipped with the skills, confidence and experience they need to gain meaningful training opportunities, internships or employment.
- Employability Skills – training days and educational programmes
- Work Placements – matching young people with corporate hosts
- Travel Training – ensuring young wheelchair users have the skills and confidence they need to travel to interviews and for work
- Action Planning – setting employability goals and action plans to reach them
Young people who join any of our employability services will receive support and guidance to help them develop skills, experience, confidence and aspiration. They have opportunities to learn about a range of industries, hone their CV writing, communication and interview skills and work directly with high profile employers. This support helps them access further study, the workplace and plan for their future.
The parent of one recent participant told us he “liked the structure and doing something new, and doing something that was challenging for him. He took back some stuff to college, to show the standard of work that he was set, and is now in a higher communications class. [The experience] has opened his horizons as to what is available. Sometimes it feels like they are being shoehorned into what type of work, or work experience can be done. But College is also looking into the different options as well now.”
Sam Steel is a young wheelchair user who, back in 2015, was studying Law at the University of Reading. Through Whizz-Kidz, he participated in a work placement week at professional services firm, EY. Last year a role he was interested in became available at the firm. His work placement had given him the confidence that he would be able to secure the position on his own merit, and he now had the opportunity to prove himself and show that he was the right person for the job. From EY’s perspective, Sam’s application assessment scores were among the highest ever achieved. The standout scores, in addition to his follow-up interview, meant that Sam successfully secured the role! Fast forward to 2022 and Sam is now settled in and very much enjoying life at EY. Reflecting on this opportunity today, Sam noted that Whizz-Kidz had been able to “open doors that he couldn’t”.
“The contacts I had previously made definitely eased my transition when joining EY – it was great to already know a few familiar faces. It’s wonderful that I still feel the impact of that [work placement] week”.
From helping a young person to secure their dream role, to empowering them to advocate for better opportunities at college or university, you can help us to ensure young wheelchair users get the chance to reach their full potential. We work with a wide range of organisations to provide placement opportunities, and to share their skills and experience at our training sessions. If you are interested in getting involved and championing young wheelchair users within your business, we would love to hear from you!
Why get involved?
“The feedback we receive throughout these placements provides us with the chance to evolve the diversity of our teams, which in turn leads to a better diversity of ideas.” – Clare Martin, Group HR Director, Jardine Motors Group
Employers who partner with Whizz-Kidz on these programmes not only offer a potentially life-changing opportunity for a young wheelchair users, but experience a range of benefits in return. Our partners tell us that working with Whizz-Kidz and the young people we support helps build disability confidence across their business, positively contributes to their Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and helps foster a more inclusive workplace.
By hosting a work placement, or supporting one of our training sessions, you will:
- Champion workplace equality, diversity and inclusion
- Increase your confidence in meeting the needs of disabled colleagues and customers
- Identify potential barriers to inclusion within your workplace or recruitment practices
- Tap into a rich talent pool – young wheelchair users have so much to offer!
- Give a young person valuable insight into an industry they may never have considered
“The young people we’ve had the pleasure of supporting not only learn from us, but can teach us so much. I would encourage all partners to…fully take advantage of volunteering opportunities with Whizz-Kidz. It’s super rewarding!” Elizabeth Teixeira, FTI Consulting
Whizz-Kidz supports our partners each step of the way, to ensure the process is smooth, and the experience rewarding for all involved.
If you’d like to know more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 798 6139