At our launch event in 2020 our members told us that one of their key priorities was employment. So, these are some of the ways Difference is helping to support disabled people in the North East. 

4 people sit around a table in a sunlit room, in thoughtful discussion. They have a laptop open in front of them.


Disability Employment Summit 

We are excited to be planning a North East Summit on Disability and Employment. We know that disabled people are under-utilised in the workforce and our members experience a range of attitudinal, physical and environmental factors that make it hard to either get a job or stay in work. At a time when we have staff shortages and record vacancies we believe there has never been a better time to pool our experience and tackle these issues.

The summit will be an opportunity for employers, policy makers, local authorities, academics, and disabled people to work together. It will be highly interactive with facilitated discussion, challenge, and collaboration.


  • Foster an inclusive employment culture.


  • Influence regional strategies and services to better support disabled workers and job seekers.
  • Promote good practice in the employment of disabled people in our region.

We want to bring together some key stakeholders to work together to:

  • Explore barriers that prevent disabled people from enjoying equality in employment.
  • Envision a more inclusive employment culture in the North East.
  • Devise actions we can start to take together to make this a reality.

The summit will take place on June 14th 2022 at a venue in Newcastle. Participation will be free of charge. We are taking a blended approach to this event. This means that it will be in-person, with the option of attending virtually.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

For more information you can contact us: Call Richard 07498 317352 or email richard@differencenortheast.org.uk  

People chat outdoors with buildings in the background.

Employment Mentoring 

 We know that disabled people can face many barriers when it comes to finding a job, keeping that job and developing and progressing through their chosen career. 

If you need some help, we have a pool of volunteer mentors who would be happy to offer you support. They are disabled people themselves and understand the pressures this can bring in the workplace. They may be able to help you work out strategies so that your disability does not hold you back. 

 The mentoring process is:

  • Voluntary 
  • Free 
  • Confidential 
  • Carried out online or by phone 
  • Monitored and co-ordinated by Difference. 

 Mentors come from a range of backgrounds and sectors, including:

  •  Banking 
  • Civil Service 
  • Charities 
  • Research 
  • Human Resources 
  • Social Work 
  • Creative and Cultural Sector

  If you would like us to find you a mentor, or want to know more, just get in touch – call Richard 07498 317352 or email richard@differencenortheast.org.uk 


 Useful Links 

 Business Disability Forum 

We are a not for profit membership organisation which exists to transform the life chances of disabled people, working through and with business to create a disability-smart world. 

We do this by bringing business leaders, disabled people, and Government together to understand what needs to change to improve the life opportunities and experiences of disabled people in employment, economic growth, and society more widely. 

 Access To Work 

If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can: 

  • talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace
  • get extra help from Access to Work, including mental health support

 Support To Work (Scope) 

Support to Work is a free online and telephone support programme for disabled people in England and Wales, who are looking for paid work. This is not a face-to-face service, so may not be right for everyone.  

 Job Centre Plus 

 If you have a health condition or a disability that affects your ability to work, you can get assistance and advice on returning to the workplace by speaking to a Work Coach at your local Jobcentre Plus. Whether you have just lost your job or have been out of work for a long time, a Work Coach is trained to be able to help you to find work or to gain new skills for a job. They can help with work preparation, recruitment, interview coaching and even confidence building.