We wanted our WorkFit film ‘When I Grow Up…’, to change people’s attitudes towards employing someone with Down’s syndrome. It was a collaboration with internet sensations Ollie and Cameron. It shows the seven-year-old identical twins testing out jobs at the fire service, a café, hairdressers and supermarket, and promotes the message that children with Down’s syndrome should grow up expecting to be employed in the same way as everybody else.
We were lucky enough to be nominated by Charity Today in the ‘Charity Film of the Year’ award category. We were up against other charities from across the country. The winner was selected by a public vote and…WE WON!
‘We are so chuffed that the film has been named ‘Charity Film of the Year’ at the Charity Today Awards 2020. It was incredible to be part of a film that portrays such an important message and having lots of fun in the process was an added bonus! The boys had a blast, especially with the fire hoses!
Elaine Scougal, Ollie and Cameron’s mum.
When we released the film back in February, Elaine said:
‘I hope that the film helps employers to think about people with Down’s syndrome as potential employees, people with hopes, dreams and ability. I also hope that it encourages parents to talk about employment opportunities with their children so that they have a presumption of seeking employment when the time comes.’
What is WorkFit?
The scheme brings together employers and jobseekers who have Down’s syndrome and is a tailored service dedicated to training employers about the learning profile of people who have Down’s syndrome so that they can be supported in the workplace.
Statistics show that nationally, just 5.9% of people with a learning disability are in paid employment in England, which is a downward trend year-on-year.
‘I think there a lot of outdated perceptions out there about Down’s syndrome, and learning disabilities in general are a barrier to people getting jobs. There’s an assumption by many that people with Down’s syndrome don’t have the competence or ability to work and that a voluntary role is more suitable if anything.
‘It’s about creating the ethos of seeing each employee as an individual, not as a condition or disability, and evaluating how their individual needs can be met within any employment context. That takes an open mind, but I believe, slowly, more minds are opening to employing people with disabilities and tailoring training to meet needs.’ Elaine Scougal.
We hope that the new film will encourage more businesses to consider signing up to the programme.
‘I am delighted to hear that Ollie and Cameron’s film has won the Charity Film of the Year award. We’ve had some wonderful feedback about it from so many people who found it uplifting and felt that it perfectly captured the excitement and prospects of the world of work. WorkFit continues to support employment opportunities in a growing range of industry sectors, and we take the view that everyone can work if they want to. We are committed to supporting people who have Down’s syndrome to shape their own destinies and celebrate their success, and now have more than 1,000 candidates registered, all at different stages of their career pathway.’ WorkFit Employment Development Manager Alison Thwaite.
Thank you to everyone who voted and shared our film.
We are so grateful for the support and we hope through this competition, that we reached more people with this film and it’s important message.
Watch again below.