On 21 March 2017, the board of trustees approved our new strategy which articulates our aim to support journeys toward independence.
The renewed Leonard Cheshire Disability strategy provides a unifying purpose for our staff, volunteers, supporters and the people we serve.
We will meaningfully and effectively put people with disabilities at the heart of our decision making in the design of all of our services and projects.
We will organise ourselves to ensure that their experience of us is seamless and personal.
A core principle is that our work supports the integration of people in communities, whether disabled or not.
Thanks to our innovative partnership with Accenture, our award-winning Livelihood Resource Centres (LRCs) play a vital part in our Access to Livelihood programme.
Flourishing in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and South Africa, we’re proud of the impact these programmes have for the people we support.
Jayakodi, now 34, had polio at the age of two, which left her unable to walk. Growing up in a hamlet in Cuddalore, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, her disability meant that initially she wasn’t allowed to go to school.
Jayakodi then moved to live in a hostel at St. Joseph’s of Cluny and completed her education. She joined the local tailoring institute, where she learnt how to make jumpers and bags.
Her talent led to her becoming an instructor, teaching orphans and rag pickers and, feeling that she’d found her true vocation, she decided to start her own tailoring shop with her savings.
The Leonard Cheshire Livelihood Resource Centre — Chennai provided Jayakodi with some credit to buy tools and equipment for her shop.
Under its Entrepreneurship Development Programme, it helped her transform her business into a true tailoring community hub.She was also able to buy raw materials at low prices for Ariya work— blouse design and embroidery.
Since then, Jayakodi has been using her knowledge to help local rural women, especially those with disabilities, learn how to tailor as well.
‘My business is thriving. Today, I am the main bread winner in my family. I have started running a self-help group consisting of 14 differently-abled people.
‘I approach government departments when I need aids for community welfare. I have supported and shared my tailoring jobs among my differently abled friends, who are self-employed like me.
‘I have now learnt to do business in a planned way, deal with customers, identify trends and explore markets for purchasing raw materials. I am very grateful to the Livelihoods Resource Centre — Chennai.’