The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

A £4.2 million challenge fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price.

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that are part of a 10-year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

The challenge fund, run by Rocket Science on behalf of the government, is aimed at testing new approaches to help people experiencing mental ill health or musculoskeletal issues to remain in employment.

They might be at risk of losing employment because of the effects of their condition, or may already be temporarily off work through ill health.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton, said:

We know there is a gap between disabled people who want to work and those who have the opportunity to do so.

With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to work to stay in or return to employment.

The joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care will fund projects that help people to stay in work by:

  • increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions
  • helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing

Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities Jackie Doyle-Price, said:

For too long if you had a disability or serious mental health issue the world of work was off limits, potentially affecting the lives of millions of people across the country.

This fund will help people overcome the barriers that so many still face when trying to get into and progress in the workplace.

Other areas to be tested will include new approaches to help employers and employees develop workplace solutions, and developing ways of working that facilitate greater participation of those with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions.

Applications are welcome from organisations in any sector, including employers, charities, social enterprises, local authorities, health bodies and others, with applications from smaller organisations particularly welcome.

Source – Gov UK


British horse racing has published its first diversity and inclusion action plan as a steering group says parts of the sport are “out of kilter with modern British society”.

The body, which contains 16 individuals from the racing industry, was set up last year after a report highlighted prejudice and barriers limiting the development of women in racing.

The Diversity in Racing steering group now wants to broaden the sport’s relevance in all areas of British society.

Among the proposals are:

  • Taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in horse racing
  • Striving for at least 30% of board members across racing to be women by 2021
  • Publishing a safeguarding policy to protect anyone involved in racing from abuse and establish clear channels for abusive behaviour to be reported
  • Working with campaigns like ‘rainbow laces’ to create an environment where everyone in racing can be open about their sexuality

Governing body, the British Horseracing Authority, is endorsing the plan and says it wants to put the issue at the heart of British racing.

The BHA will create a new Head of Diversity and Inclusion role and hope to have someone in place later this year.

It also intends to carry out research aimed at understanding how the sport can attract diverse audiences more effectively.

Horse racing estimates it employs 85,000 people around Great Britain and measures its contribution to the economy at over £3bn.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust said he hoped everyone in the sport would welcome the publication of the new proposals.

“At a time when we need to be attracting the best talent and growing our sport there is a clear commercial, as well as moral, case for making sure British racing is a sport where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential and where fans of all communities feel welcome,” he said.

Irish leader Leo Varadkar has spoken out in support of LGBT equality in Northern Ireland.
The Taioseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland was speaking at a state reception marking 25 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the country.
Varadkar, the first openly gay leader in the country’s history, used his speech to speak out in favour of equality for LGBT people in neighbouring Northern Ireland, which is a region of the UK.

He said: “In the United Nations and around the world, I as Taoiseach and Ministers will speak up for LGBT civil rights in other countries, countries that still criminalise or discriminate, whether it’s central or eastern Europe, whether it’s in the Arab world, or whether it’s not too far away in Northern Ireland.”

Varadkar said: “The most remarkable thing about being gay in Ireland today is that it is totally unremarkable. You’re not that special – even though you may think so. And you’re certainly not abnormal.

“To quote Lady Gaga, ‘Baby, I was Born this Way’.”

Patrick Corrigan, of Northern Ireland’s Love Equality campaign, said: “We welcome this latest public statement of support from the Taoiseach.

“At a time when there has been no devolved government at Stormont for 18 months, and the UK government has turned its back on the LGBT+ community here, it is all the more important to hear the Taoiseach speaking out about the continued discrimination faced by people in Northern Ireland.

“Theresa May should take note that a prime minister of our next-door neighbour is speaking about the UK in the same breath as parts of the world infamous for discrimination against LGBT+ people.

“This discrimination against gay people in Northern Ireland is now happening on the Prime Minister’s watch. She has the power to end it, but is choosing not to act. We thank Leo Varadkar for his pledge to keep speaking out around the world until that changes.”

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without same-sex marriage, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May has faced calls to act on the issue in the UK Parliament due to the ongoing suspension of the region’s devolved power-sharing Assembly.

LGBT campaigners in the region say it is up to the Prime Minister to deliver equal rights in the absence of the devolved government, which broke down more than a year ago and shows little signs of reforming.

Justine Greening, who was May’s Minister for Women and Equalities until January, recently put her name to a letter urging the PM to act.

Greening signed a letter alongside other cross-party sponsors of a backbench bill to bring equal marriage to Northern Ireland, after the PM’s high-profile intervention on upskirting.

They wrote: “We welcome the prime minister stepping in to back a private members’ bill to make upskirting a specific criminal offence in government time, after it was blocked at second reading last week.

“As MPs from across the House of Commons, we were disappointed that a Bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland was recently blocked in exactly the same way.

“It is deeply unfair that, in 2018, same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are prohibited by law from marrying, but those in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are permitted to do so.

“A change in the law ought to be introduced by a fully functioning devolved administration, but the lack of a functioning government in Northern Ireland should not delay the provision of fundamental rights.

“Hence, the government should bring the bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland into its own time in the House of Commons.”

The letter was signed by Labour MPs Conor McGinn, Wes Streeting, Karin Smyth, Ged Killen, Yvette Cooper, Owen Smith, and Angela Eagle, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, Green MP Caroline Lucas, and Conservatives Justine Greening and Nick Herbert.

The issue is complicated by Theresa May’s government reliance upon the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party to prop up its majority in Parliament.

The DUP, founded by ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ leader Ian Paisley, has traditionally held strong anti-LGBT views.

However, current leader Arlene Foster has said she hopes to begin to reach out to the LGBT community, and plans to attend PinkNews’ summer reception in Belfast this Thursday (June 28).

Source: Pink News


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