Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side Action for Blind People and Birmingham Midshires

Since the partnership began in 2004, specialist lender Birmingham Midshires has supplied work placements and recruitment advice to Action for Blind People's service users. It has also funded assistive technology for the charity's clients. Action provides training for the company's team leaders

HARRY MEADE, SENIOR CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE, ACTION FOR BLIND PEOPLE

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PARTNERSHIP?

Birmingham Midshires approached us. It had a staff member experiencing sight loss and we were able to help ensure sight loss did not mean job loss. It soon became apparent that the company was committed to diversity, so the dialogue just kept going.

HOW DO YOU BENEFIT?

We have taken young people into BM to show them a working environment that could be suitable as a career option. One of our clients has secured a job there and BM is now sending us vacancy lists on a regular basis.

DID YOU HAVE ANY RESERVATIONS?

No - we quickly found ourselves on the same wavelength.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP?

More of the same, we hope. We are very grateful to BM.

JUNE WILKES, HR CONSULTANT, BIRMINGHAM MIDSHIRES

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PARTNERSHIP?

We approached Action for Blind People to form a working relationship.

Because we already employed a blind colleague, we felt we might be able to offer other visually impaired candidates similar opportunities.

HOW DO YOU BENEFIT?

HR employees benefit from giving recruitment advice to visually impaired candidates and building their understanding and confidence. BM also benefits from Action's expertise in the provision of specialist advice, including training for team leaders.

DID YOU HAVE ANY RESERVATIONS?

No - we've welcomed any learning opportunities.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE PARTNERSHIP?

We will continue to offer interviews and support to all clients who meet initial selection criteria for BM roles.

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