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PRESS RELEASE - Prospects to take on disabled interns through Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Change100 scheme

10 March 2014

Prospects, the education, employment and training company, has partnered with the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability for the launch of Change100, an internship scheme for disabled university students.

Change100 gives talented disabled university students the opportunity to go into paid internships at some of the UK’s leading companies this summer, including Prospects.

By launching Change100 Leonard Cheshire Disability wants to address the under-representation of disabled people in the workplace. Research from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that just over half (54%) of working age disabled people are currently not in work.

The scheme aims to broaden the public’s understanding of what disability is, as well as highlight the fact that many disabled students are talented, ambitious, and would thrive in the business sector.

Successful applicants will get mentoring and guidance throughout their paid, three-month placement to support them to excel and thrive within the workplace.

The scheme also supports businesses to become more confident about disability by giving advice and guidance about how to support employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Vincent McDonnell, Managing Director of Prospects, said: “Graduating from university and moving into employment can be a challenging time for all students, but even more so for young people with disabilities. We know the value of work experience and how vital it is for finding a job which is why we are looking forward to giving disabled students the chance to gain experience and show what an asset they can be within the workforce. Improving life chances, abilities and aspirations is at the heart of our business that is why we are delighted to be working with Leonard Cheshire Disability on the Change100 scheme.”

Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “We know there are tremendously talented disabled people searching for work and they could be our country’s future leaders or entrepreneurs if they are given the chance. We also know that our best companies value talent. That is why we have launched Change 100 – to provide life-changing opportunities to disabled university students to experience the world of work.”

In order to deliver Change100, Leonard Cheshire Disability will be partnering with Vanilla, a social enterprise also responsible for the non-profit sector graduate scheme Charityworks.

Rachel Whale, Managing Director of Vanilla, said: "The initial response to Change100 has made clear the terrific appetite and enthusiasm for this idea among not only employers, but also universities and students. We think disabled students coming to the end of their degrees have already demonstrated a great deal of talent and resilience, and we are excited about the opportunity Change100 offers for them to take those skills into the world of work."

Change100 has placements across the UK and is open to anyone with a long term health condition or disability, including physical, visual or hearing impairments, mental health conditions and learning disabilities like dyslexia and dyspraxia.

The deadline for student applications is 17th March 2014, with internships taking place during the summer of 2014. For more information visit


Notes to Editor

About Prospects
Prospects is a dynamic and enterprising group providing a wide range of education, employment and training services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, abilities and aspirations of everyone we support. Each year we touch the lives of more than a million people through our extensive range of high quality services. The Prospects Group has an annual turnover in excess of £100 million and employs more than 2,000 skilled and professional staff.

Our services include:

  • National Careers Service in the community, offering face to face advice on learning and work as prime provider in Greater London, a partner in Careers Yorkshire and the Humber and a leading subcontractor in the West Midlands and Bristol
  • Work Programme which helps longer-term unemployed people back to work, as prime contractor in the South West and leading subcontractor in London and Bristol
  • Targeted support helping NEET and vulnerable young people and those with learning difficulties and disabilities; Pathway services to care leavers
  • Innovative approaches to rehabilitation of adults and young offenders in the community, and provision of the in custody element of the National Careers Service in all prisons in London and Yorkshire and Humber
  • Ofsted Early Years Inspection Services across the Midlands and North of England
  • Youth Contract, support for 16-17 year old NEET young people in London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Prospects Apprenticeships, training apprentices across the UK
  • Academy sponsorship through Prospects Academies Trust
  • Education consultancy, academy and school improvement services through Prospects Improve
  • Leading Parent Partnership Award - promoting engagement of families in schools
  • Educational resources for schools and careers advisers
  • Entrepreneurship for young people in Wales
  • South Cerney Outdoor Centre in Gloucestershire
  • Events including regional careers and skills events across the UK such as Skills London, City Walks and award ceremonies
  • Business support and networking
  • Mutuals development services for public bodies

    The Prospects Group includes: South London Business, a business support organisation; Gabbitas, independent education consultancy; CfAppointments, specialist recruitment services and South Cerney Outdoor Education Centre.

    Leonard Cheshire Disability is one of the UK’s largest voluntary sector providers of services to disabled people. We support thousands of people with physical and learning disabilities in the UK and we work with Cheshire partner organisations in 54 countries around the world. We campaign for change and provide innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way. Visit

    Media contact:

    For further information, photos, video content or interviews, please contact:
    Amy Lambert on 020 3242 0398,
    Natalia Kannas on 020 3242 0389,
    Out of office 07903 949 388

    Jayne Runacres
    PR Manager
    020 8315 1023
    07901 922211


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