The Undressing Disability shoot 2013 in front of Big Ben, London

Charity Projects at Enhance the UK by The Learning People

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How do you deal with disability in the workplace? That’s a question asked by awareness charity, Enhance the UK. Jennie Williams, founder and project manager of Enhance the UK, offers awareness training designed to combat prejudices against disability in the workplace and schools in a fun, interactive and engaging fashion. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START ENHANCE THE UK? “Part of the reason I started Enhance the UK was because I am a hearing aid user. “This has given me greater empathy, understanding and passion to support people who have physical and sensory impairments. “It is important to me that these people have…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Claire Holland and Perceptions of Disability

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One of our experienced trainers, Emily Yates, ran a twilight training session with members of the student union at Queen Mary University of London last week. The session was attended by 16 students who are keen to volunteer in the local community. It was like a trip down memory lane for Emily as this was the university that she attended. I asked Emily what the highlight of the session was. She explained that for her it was seeing the positive transformation of people’s perception of disability throughout the session. This got me thinking about what perception do we actually want…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland: Enhance and Business

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Enhance the UK has decided to put its business hat on! I don’t mean that we will no longer be a charity or stop aiming for our charitable objectives but simply to achieve these we recognise that we need to learn from commercial leaders. In today’s economic climate fundraising is hard work – it’s a case of taking one step forward and three back. Several charities this week have announced they are under threat of closure due to being unable to raise enough money for core costs. Just to explain, core costs are the day to day running costs of…

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The secret sign cover

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland – The Secret Sign

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This week at Enhance the UK I have been promoting our Indigogo campaign – The Secret Sign. This is a campaign to raise £3,000 to be able to publish the book that we have written. Anyone who knows us understands that we are all incredibly busy and are likely to be asking, ‘what were you thinking writing a children’s book?’ I thought I would take the opportunity to fill you in with the details. When running disability awareness sessions in primary schools, I often had teachers asking if I could recommend good books with disabled characters in them.  This made…

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Emaciated mannequin

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland – Body Image and our Workshops

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This week I was shocked to see a photograph of a shop mannequin which appeared to be completely emaciated, posted on my friend’s Facebook. The tirade of comments underneath were predictably negative towards the practise of shops promoting unhealthily thin body shapes. On further investigation, the photograph had come from an article in the Daily Mail on the 21st February. The mannequin was displayed in a Whistles store in London. Eating disorder support charities had condemned the store and called for shops to be more responsible for setting standards. Whilst I personally accept that it is not correct to pin…

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The author Holly Williams

Holly Williams on Scope’s End the Awkward Campaign

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I’ve just found out that SCOPE is running a brand new campaign called End The Awkward. According to them, 67% of Brits feel uncomfortable talking to people with a disability. Part of their campaign is a whole lot of really useful tips and clear answers to questions that might run through the mind of someone who is meeting a disabled person for the first time. While I think SCOPE is really onto something here, I can’t help thinking they’ve maybe missed a bit of a trick. It’s great they’re trying to help people to feel more at ease around disability…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Behind the Scenes with Claire Holland – Training with the National Gallery

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It’s been an exciting time at Enhance the UK recently as we are involved in some really interesting projects. A short time ago two of our fantastic trainers delivered Disability and Communication training for education staff at the National Gallery. They were so pleased with the training that we delivered that we were invited to attend a meeting regarding how we might work with them in the future. I recently attended the meeting with Jennie (our CEO) and was pleased to learn how seriously they are taking access. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the education team at the…

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Claire Holland Head of Training

Behind the Scenes at Enhance: Claire Holland, Head of Training

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  When Jennie (the CEO for Enhance the UK) asked me if I would like to write a blog, I was a tad hesitant to say the least. What I currently know about the blogosphere (Google is my friend) can be written on a postage stamp. What can I write about, I thought and then it dawned on me. I could blog about my experiences working with Enhance the UK. I am in a lucky position to work on a freelance basis as the Head of Training for Enhance the UK, a charity I am passionate about. Not many people…

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Emily Yates of The Love Lounge

Bluebella Review – Ophelia Bra and Knicker Set

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Being a wheelchair user, I have two main issues when it comes to underwear. Knickers being so low that they hardly cover my modesty when transferring in and out of my chair, and bras riding up my back while the straps slowly slide down my arms… neither is particularly sexy. Fortunately, Bluebella have a (very gorgeous) solution: the  Ophelia set. Both bra and knickers are pretty, with  delicate lace covering the back whilst the front is chic and  almost satin. However, the aesthetics don’t overpower the  functionality, and the racer back, front fastening bra stays  in place all day long,…

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Jennie Williams

Disability and dating faux pas

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My name is Jennie Williams, I am the Director and Founder of user led disability charity Enhance the UK, and ​​I have degenerative hearing loss​. My hearing loss is believed to be linked to a heart condition I have called long QT, which is otherwise​ known as sudden death syndrome. For communicating, I wear two hearing aids which I rely on a lot. I am also an extremely good lip reader and sign up to​ British ​Sign​ Language (BSL)​ Level Three​. But, really, ​how many people do you know that sign? Within the hearing world, BSL is not much use…

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