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Tesco Turns Purple to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities

On Monday 3 December, it was International Day of Persons with Disabilities, to mark this event, Tesco hosted an event at the Heart Building in Welwyn Garden City as part of the day’s Purple Light Up celebration.

Key speakers from Remploy, Mencap, Shaw Trust, Reed In Partnership and Whizz Kids were in attendance to speak about how they work with Tesco Stores as part of the Tesco Launch Programme  to support people with disabilities to take part in supported work placements in stores across the UK to ultimately help them find a job either in Tesco or externally.

Jason Bates, chair of Disability at Tesco recounted his experience in a story spun with humour and heart before summing up his personal philosophy in two words - “Be determined”. Disability at Tesco sponsor and Store Director, Justin Alexander, spoke about his experience building his career in Tesco living with dyslexia and how this hadn’t be a barrier to his success.

Guests celebrated the work of the Disability at Tesco Network, as Tesco demonstrated their continued commitment to supporting, advocating on behalf of and encouraging conversations around disability and mental health. To conclude the day, Jason Bates alongside Natasha Adams, Chief People Officer at Tesco Group, pressed the big red button and made the building proudly purple as part of the #PurpleLightUp.

We were delighted that Joe Logue, Chair of our Enabled at Tesco Network and Cheryl Venart, Network member were both able to attend this event to represent Tesco Bank.

Having caught up with Joe previously, we were delighted that he shared his reflections on attending this event.

“Attending the International Day of Persons with Disabilities event was an honour. I was particularly struck hearing from Jason Bates and Justin Alexander from Disability at Tesco as both talked candidly about their experiences of working with a disability and their personal journeys at Tesco.

As well as hearing from Tesco colleagues and our Tesco Launch programme partners, we had the opportunity to listen to Laura Rutherford, a mother and Tesco customer who created a petition to encourage supermarkets to provide a nappy product suitable for older children, such as her son Brody who has Global Development Delay, Epilepsy, Autism, and Hypermobility Syndrome. Tesco worked together with Laura to develop the Tesco Junior Nappies product, which can now be purchased at Tesco Stores, making a real difference to the lives of Tesco shoppers who care for disabled children where there is currently no alternative available out with the NHS.

While it was great to see others openly talking about disability and the impact it had on their lives, I found attending this day to be highly empowering and rewarding. I’m not used to travelling in my wheelchair, so I was nervous about the trip. However, knowing that I had the support of the network and the Bank really motivated me to overcome these concerns and gave me the opportunity to meet some great people.

Since attending this event, I have been approached by Muscular Dystrophy UK, who would like to do a feature in their upcoming magazine on me and my experiences as Chair of the Enabled at Tesco Network. When I was at my lowest, I would never have imagined that I would get to experience all that I have. This adventure has allowed me to realise that there are so many things that I can achieve in spite of and because of my condition and I look forward to the places I’ll go and the opportunities I’ll encounter on my Enabled at Tesco journey.”

To find out more about our Enabled at Tesco Network, please visit https://corporate.tescobank.com/205/about-us/disability/

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