Press release: Project offers new pathways to work for Camden residents with disabilities

16 March 2017

London, UK: Business Disability Forum has teamed up with the charity Cross River Partnership and a host of major employers for CamdenAbility, a new project offering career opportunities and support for Camden residents with disabilities and/or long term health conditions and who have been unemployed for longer than six months. 

The CamdenAbility project launched on 22 February and brought together a network currently comprising 14 of Camden’s biggest employers, including the John Lewis Partnership and University College London. The ambition is to continue to grow the network throughout the project and bring together the employers to share learning.

Under CamdenAbility, disabled Camden residents will be able to access a range of support to help them obtain paid jobs with employers in the network.

Business Disability Forum is working with Cross River Partnership to assemble a network of businesses, charities and public sector organisations across Camden, using funding from Camden Council and Jobcentre Plus. Cross River will provide the support to the candidates, while BDF will support the employers to increase their skills and confidence.

BDF will run a full programme of events in 2017 to increase knowledge and awareness of topics such as workplace adjustments, autism, recruitment and enabling disabled colleagues to thrive in the workplace.

The CamdenAbility project will run until December 2017 after which the network will discuss next steps.

Speaking about the launch event, Helen Macfarlane, Principal Consultant at Business Disability Forum:

"It was fantastic to have so many employers in the room and to hear about some of their exciting plans.  We are really looking forward to working together with these employers and growing the network."

Mike Higgins of University College London, a CamdenAbility Member, said:

“UCL is proud to be a Member of CamdenAbility and is thrilled to have been chosen to host its inaugural meeting.  We look forward to developing a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship with Business Disability Forum, Cross River Partnership and local employers to promote our Apprenticeship scheme and other initiatives to disabled people in the area.

“UCL recognises that there is a substantial pool of talent in the disabled community which doesn’t at present gain access to opportunities to work for us and other large employers locally. We not only have a duty to reflect the community in which we are based, we are missing out if we don’t.” 

If you are an employer wishing to learn more about the network, please contact Helen Macfarlane at

If you are a candidate and have been unemployed for more than six months and have a long term health condition and/or a disability then please contact Parma Sira at




Notes to Editors

  1. Business Disability Forum represents some 400 organisations that employ 20% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty years’ experience of equipping people with the expertise to create confident organisations by improving the understanding of disability in business, removing barriers and making adjustments for individuals.
  2. Businesses based in Camden interested in taking part in CamdenAbility should contact Helen Macfarlane, Principal Consultant at Business Disability Forum at, or Parma Sira at Cross River Partnership at
  3. For further comment, please contact  Sam Buckley, Press Officer, at