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 

In June 2022, we brought together over 50 employers, policy makers, local authorities, academics, and disabled people to work together on the challenges we face in employment. The summit set out to explore how we can foster an inclusive employment culture here in the North East.


  • 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.

We collaborated, debated and argued, and we came up with some very powerful suggestions for action. You can read an outline of the findings here.

A post-it note from the summit which reads: adjustments aren't just for changing things so that someone can do the job in the same way as someone without a disability- jobs can be done in different ways'.

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.