LAST Wednesday some of Wirral's finest golfers (I use the term loosely!) came together to play a charity game at Royal Liverpool for Self Unlimited, a charity that offers choice and opportunities for people with learning disabilities to increase their independence and develop working skills.
The day was organised by Andrew Collinge, his wife Liz, sister Sarah and dad Peter.
Local businesses took part and raised a whopping £20,000.
I went to support the fundraising charity day both personally, and in my new role as Minister for Disabled People.
From Wirral I headed to Castle Donington to help launch a new initiative at Marks and Spencer's new distribution centre aimed at employing people with disabilities into mainstream work. One thousand new jobs are being created and it's hoped hundreds of these jobs will go to those with learning disabilities. The new M&S employability scheme is known as Plan A and its aim is to provide an all inclusive workforce, helping disabled people overcome the barriers that stop them finding meaningful work.
Helping disabled people into mainstream work is a priority of mine. At present the employment rate of disabled people is approximately 48% and although this has gone up in the last few years it still means over 50% aren't in work although many tell me they'd like to be.
Schemes like Plan A will demonstrate how dedicated, motivated and loyal disabled staff are, research showing also that fewer days are lost through sickness and absenteeism too. If you'd like any more information go to www.marksand spencer.com/mscareers