Helen Cooke

Associate, My+ Consulting

Helen Cooke is a HR professional, disability consultant, trainer and speaker. Helen founded My Plus Consulting in 2005 and works with organisations to help them to understand and address the issues around disability. She specifically focuses on enabling organisations to leverage the potential that exists amongst disabled individuals.

The uniqueness of Helen's approach largely comes from her ability to understand the issues from both sides of the fence: as an employee with a disability, and as an employer. Helen is in a wheelchair as a result of a childhood spinal injury.

After graduating Helen joined the Marks and Spencer Management Programme. After spending 3.5 years as a commercial manager Helen joined Mars Inc. After a brief stint in the sales division Helen moved into HR. Her first three years in HR were working as an HR Business Partner. She then moved into the resourcing team. Here she was responsible for internal and external recruitment as well as establishing graduate management programmes for the finance, sales and marketing divisions.

In addition to her own experiences of disability, Helen has worked extensively with other disabled individuals. The majority of this experience comes from her involvement with The Back Up Trust, an organisation which supports spinally injured individuals. Helen is a mentor for the Back Up mentoring programme.

In 2001, Helen took a sabbatical from Mars which she spent volunteering for the Whistler Adaptive Sports Programme. This aims to get disabled individuals skiing, regardless of what their impairment is. A keen skier herself, Helen drew on her own love of the sport to inspire others to have a go