Disabled youngsters in London get employability boost


Over a hundred disabled youngsters in the capital are set to benefit from work experience and volunteering placements as we emerge from the pandemic, thanks to an innovative new scheme from pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire.

The project, titled ‘Changing Futures’ launches this month and will be recruiting from schools and colleges across London. The project is funded by the international investment company 3i.

Leonard Cheshire CEO Ruth Owen OBE said:

“The Changing Futures programme will make a huge impact to young disabled people in London, at a time when schemes like this are needed more than ever.

"Our charity found 71% of disabled people who were employed in March 2020 had their employment impacted in some way by the pandemic: such as being furloughed, losing income, feeling at risk of redundancy, or losing their jobs.

"Changing Futures is an important step in supporting young disabled people during the post-Covid recovery. We are extremely grateful to 3i for funding this.”

Changing Futures will give 18 to 24-year-olds work experience in an area suited to their interests and aspirations. The scheme also provides one to one support for employment advisors and access to a variety of interactive modules to develop skills and confidence.

Leonard Cheshire’s training and consultancy team will work with employers to make sure their organisation is inclusive and has the right tools to support Changing Futures’ participants.

3i is giving Leonard Cheshire £190,000 to deliver the new programme for 150 young disabled people. In May 2020, 3i set up a £5 million Covid-19 charitable fund, with the aim of supporting charities and communities affected by the pandemic.  

Kathryn van der Kroft, 3i Communications Director, commented:

“Our Covid-19 Charitable Fund was set up to help alleviate the effects of the pandemic. We are delighted to support Leonard Cheshire and the important work they will be doing in London to provide young disabled people with volunteering and employment support and opportunities as we come out of the Covid crisis.”  

The charity has previously achieved success with its project Changing Futures Wales, where 188 adults and 106 young people were supported in improving their career prospects.


Media enquiries

For further information, interviews and high res images please contact Claire Farrell via Claire.farrell@leonardcheshire.org.

About 3i 

3i is a leading international investment company focused on Private Equity and Infrastructure, investing in companies headquartered in northern Europe and North America. Our private equity business invests in companies operating in the consumer, healthcare, industrial and business & technology sectors. Within infrastructure, we focus on sectors including communications, energy, utilities and transport & logistics. 

We back entrepreneurs and management teams of companies that want to grow internationally and, once invested, we work closely with those companies to achieve their full potential. We partner with management to set the strategic position for the business and to develop a plan for the next 3 to 5 years. We use our international network of senior Business Leaders and advisers to support management in delivering growth, whether that’s organically or through acquisition.