Our Director of Operations, Sara Bradbury, shares her views on disability employment and has a challenge for you...

Our mission at Enham Trust is to support disabled people to live, work and enjoy life. All we want is for employers to have faith in the disabled workforce and the impact it brings.

During the pandemic I have been reminded so many times of the real impact that working has on one’s life, giving purpose, a sense of achievement, somewhere to socialise and make friendships and connections, money to enable us to choose how we live and enjoy our lives.

Back in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic first hit at Enham Trust, we were faced with the decision of whether we should close our social enterprise, Enham 3PL, due to the fact our orders had gone through the floor but more importantly to also to keep our vulnerable workforce safe. That decision was one of the hardest in my working career to date. I felt anxious, sick and a huge sense of responsibility knowing that by removing work from our supported employees, we were forcing isolation on those individuals, removing their sense of purpose, enjoyment and reason to get up each day.


The decision was made in the knowledge that we may never be able to return to operating Enham 3PL. Our customers still needed to operate, so in doing so, were we forcing them to go to competitors for work to never return? This was a decision that we knew could put an end to working life for many of our disabled employees, however it was taken with the welfare of those we support at its core.

During the lockdowns, whilst our 3PL workforce was furloughed we worked hard to keep in contact by providing opportunities for socialisation (always adhering to the rules), supporting with financial queries, completing welfare checks and generally being there when we could with a cup of tea and a friendly face, because we knew how much of that had been lost through not working.

Fast forward 23 months later and we are back to a bustling factory once again, something that in March 2020 I feared we’d never see. It gives me so much joy every day I go into our factory. Everyone takes so much pride in their part in the production line, the quality is second to none, and the speed - woah! I challenge anyone to pack tea bags with the speed that our operatives do. But what shines above all else is the impact that it has on the workforce. They are one of the happiest, motivated workforces we have at Enham Trust. If I ever need a smile on my face I just take 5 minutes out of my day to say hello... they have not failed me yet!

Excerpt of original report by ITV News Meridian (2021)


Why am I telling you this?

It’s not about the joy it gives me (even though it really does!), it is about the individuals we support. At Enham Trust we support over 25 disabled people on a supported employment programme, either funded by DWPs TESG (Transitional Employer Support Grant) or via Access to Work, not only in our logistics operation but other positions across the Trust, in addition to supporting individuals with local employers.

Whilst the disability employment rate increased to 52.7% in 2021, compared to 81.0% for non-disabled people, we can all do something to close this gap further. At Enham Trust we want to support more disabled people in employment in 2022. So I challenge you, how can you and your employer get involved?

Enham Trust can help you and your organisation to become Disability Confident and employ disabled people in your workforce. If you want to be inspired like me and see first-hand the impact it has on individuals and your business, please get in touch for further information and to start your Disability Confident journey.


More about disability confidence


Sara Bradbury
Director of Operations, Enham Trust


If you want to read some of the stories of those we support have a read of the following:

Joe is flying the Enham coop! | Enham Trust
Chloe’s Story | Enham Trust