Company partnerships

Sumaira Latif

"For employers, being inclusive can be uncomfortable but the business case is clear; there are 1.3 billion people globally with a disability. We consider people’s ethnicity, their wealth and gender, but we’ve never looked at consumers in relation to their disability. What if we did that?"

My personal experience of being blind has given me the drive and passion to make a change and to lead P&G to be more inclusive. This is why I work with partners, like SeeAbility, to ensure that our products are understood by people with a range of disabilities, including learning disabilities and autism. We’re on an amazing journey to put accessibility at the heart of everything we do. Big things can happen when you get the right support.

Sumaira Latif is Procter and Gamble’s Company Accessibility Leader in the UK

Why should we partner with SeeAbility?

The global value of opportunity for people with disabilities is $8 trillion, yet only 4% of businesses are focused on making offerings inclusive of disability. By partnering with SeeAbility, your company can lead the way working with one of the UK’s oldest disability charities to make inclusion a reality for children and adults who have learning disabilities or are autistic.

What will our partnership achieve?

The millennium generation brings strong views on social responsibility to the workplace; a partnership with SeeAbility can illustrate to potential new joiners that your business lives its values when it comes to social sustainability. It’s also a way of inspiring your current employees, and actively ‘walking the walk’ with regards to improving disability awareness and equality.

For your business reputation, a successful partnership might also mean increased media exposure, particularly when it comes to illustrating how you’re making a positive impact in your local community.

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, a small business owner, or a professional organisation, we will work with you to create a bespoke partnership, and measure the outcomes to illustrate how your support is ensuring that people with disabilities can live the life they choose – and that together, we are building a fairer, more inclusive society.

Here are some of the companies who have worked with us: 

Waitrose

During the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, Waitrose & Partners stepped up to support people with learning disabilities. The supermarket donated essential food supplies direct to SeeAbility homes across the country where people were being protected from the virus. The support helped us to shield our services and restrict our movement to lower the risk of contracting Covid-19.

The generous act by Waitrose stores saw deliveries of fresh food and essential cleaning supplies at homes in Aylesbury, Surbiton, Leatherhead, Horley, Eastleigh, Bristol, Wellington, Tadley and Aldershot. Several Waitrose branches have committed to support SeeAbility homes through the Community Matters scheme in the coming months.

The whole SeeAbility family is very grateful for the support of our friends at Waitrose. Deanne Weller, our colleague said:

"We want to express our sincere thanks to local Waitrose branches who have ensured vulnerable customers are not forgotten about in the pandemic. I’ve created a dreamcatcher to celebrate what this means to us; The blue heart is for the NHS, the green heart for Waitrose and the orange heart is for SeeAbility and our amazing colleagues..."

John Lewis and the Golden Jubilee Trust

The Golden Jubilee Trust was set up by John Lewis to mark the Queen’s Jubilee and is designed to assist charities stretch their thinking or to help them undertake something they would not normally have the money or resources to undertake themselves. 

In 2017, SeeAbility applied to the John Lewis Golden Jubilee Trust for a secondment to support the charity as we sought more ways to embrace employee engagement and a more democratic structure.

We hoped to be matched with an employee who had experience in staff engagement. Lesley Brown saw the advert on the notice board and jumped at the chance, excited to put her skills to use in the charity sector. On the back of our annual employee engagement survey, Lesley spoke to every team in the organisation to get to grips with how employees were feeling. This resulted in a series of action plans, working towards a more involved accountability model that’s embedded throughout the organisation.

"The charity and I both believe that staff should feel responsible for the organisation and speak up. By being more involved, having influence over organisational decisions and being listened to, everyone can pull together to make things work better"

says Lesley.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care UK

Not many people know that children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have a problem with their eyes than children without learning disabilities. It is a significant issue that SeeAbility seeks to raise awareness of, and so we were delighted when the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Institute, which is dedicated to promoting learning, debate, and best practice standards invited us to share our learning with their Eye Care Professionals.

At the interactive World Café session that followed, SeeAbility’s eye care and vision team and our lived-experience experts talked about the innovative eye care work that led to the our Children in Focus research study and Every Day in Focus programme, calling for more eye care professionals to make their practices disability friendly.

In return, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care Institute’s Faculty and Professional Affairs Consultants shared their expert knowledge, helping SeeAbility to develop its plans in a number of areas including a strategy on engaging newly qualified professionals, marketing to reach new audiences and ways to extend our influencing networks.

Together, we share a vision of making eye care accessible for all and look forward to further collaboration in 2020.

Tesco

As part of the giant retailers’ £52 million package of support for local communities hit by the lockdown, Tesco has supported a number of SeeAbility services across the country. A total of £7,500 has been donated through the Bags of Help Covid-19 Community Fund to keep SeeAbility’s frontline staff well equipped and supported during the pandemic.

Services in Seaford, Honiton, Wellington, Ashtead, Horley, Tadley, Filton, Meadowmead and Maidstone have used the support from the community fund towards PPE, cleaning and the wellbeing helpline which has been set up following Covid19.

Tesco’s cash boost for SeeAbility has provided much needed relief for the services experiencing a surge in spending for deep cleaning and PPE. The retail giants’ commitment to support local communities has been celebrated across the services receiving the grant.

Essilor

We’ve teamed up with Vision For Life, Essilor’s social impact programme, to reach thousands of people with learning disabilities, as well as eye care professionals, through our Every Day in Focus eye care programme.

Our Every Day in Focus programme aims to give people with learning disabilities the knowledge and opportunity to access the eye care they need. Getting good quality eye care as early as possible is so important to improving people’s quality of life and helping people to achieve the things they want in life.

Frédéric Corbasson, Executive Director Vision for Life said:

"Good vision is a basic human right: seeing well is essential for our everyday wellbeing and quality of life. It enables us to learn, work, and fully interact with the world around us. At Vision For Life, our goal is to support sustainable vision care infrastructure and programmes, and we are committed to partnering with organisations and funding programs that bring vision care to the communities most in need. SeeAbility’s Every Day in Focus project is a unique and much needed eye care programme which supports some of the most vulnerable people in communities across the UK."

See more at www.essilorseechange.com

How can we get involved?

There are many ways to get involved! Here are some of the ways in which we can work together:

  • Become a corporate member
  • Charity of the Year partnerships
  • Join us to host a unique Diversity & Inclusion world café session
  • Inclusion awareness days
  • Access to focus groups of people with lived experience of learning disabilities, autism and sight loss
  • Supporting Ready, Willing & Able – our new programme which seeks to creates employment opportunities for people who have learning disabilities or are autistic
  • Volunteer days
  • Employee fundraising activities
  • Sponsoring our events
  • Team challenges, like our trek to Morocco's Mount Toubkal through partner Traveleyes
  • Networking events

Who can provide more information?

Our partnerships team are here to answer your questions and create a plan that meets your company’s charitable aims. Get in touch today by calling Saujan Pandhak on 01372 755 065 or by emailing S.Pandhak@seeability.org.