Cornish Fixer Tommy Gundry, who has been paralysed from a young age, is encouraging employers not to dismiss potential candidates because of a disability.
His story was broadcast on ITV News West Country (W) on Monday 12th May.
Now in work, the 21-year-old from Liskeard believes that his initial difficulties getting a job were down to his reliance on a wheelchair.
‘I was unemployed for 18 months despite the fact I had good qualifications from school and from college,’ explains 21-year-old Tommy.
‘For a long time I felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
‘I think employers believe disabled people are going to take a lot more time off work or that the cost of adaptations to their building are going to be substantial.’
With the help of Fixers, Tommy has created a leaflet to highlight the benefits of hiring disabled people.
He hopes his project will aid both employer and candidate during the interview process.
Click to read Tommy's leaflet below.
In the broadcast, young people detail the problems they’ve come up against while trying to find a job.
Adam Ashman, who has childhood arthritis, comments:
‘They’re not focused on what we can offer - but what barriers are presented with someone who has a disability.’
Kate Reed, lead developer for the Real Ideas Organisation and Tommy’s current employer, also appears in the broadcast piece to support the campaign, saying:
‘What we’ve found in terms of taking disabled people into our workforce is that the benefits often outweigh the costs.
‘You don’t have to make as many changes as you might imagine and it makes it a much more inclusive team feel.
‘Employers could be missing out on fantastic people.’
Tommy adds: ‘I think society has become a lot more accepting of disabled people in recent years.
‘But in the workplace, there is a lot to be done.’
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Click here to see how a group of Fixers are using music
to challenge negative stereotypes of disabilities.