Tell us a little about your business.
I was part of the original founding team of Sick in the City CIC (trading as SIC), a social enterprise that works to close the disability employment gap here in the UK. I’m now a solo entrepreneur, which is a whole new thing that I’m having to navigate.
In essence, there are two sides to SIC. One side supports disabled and neurodiverse people for free, throughout their careers by providing mentorship, training and e-learning.
The other part of what we do is to support businesses in their access and inclusion journeys by delivering training, consulting, and workshops. As a CIC, profits from these services go right back into supporting disabled people.
Why did you start the business? Share your story so far.
I definitely can’t take all the credit. My original co-founder, Rachael Mole, was the driving force during the initial months. She was tired and frustrated of the barriers in the workplace.
I realised very quickly that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I’d worked in communications for 10 years, focusing on DEI, particularly women in leadership and women in STEM, so to me it was a no-brainer that I should be working to support people just like me.
We’ve been through some iterations and now I’m leading the business into a range of really exciting partnerships with other organisations looking at solving the disability employment gap. As someone who thrives off other people, I love the direction that the business is going in. I get to work with some really cool people and collaborate with lots of different clients.
What do you consider your greatest achievement or the proudest moment in your life so far?
Potentially a bit of a weird one but my face (and accompanying inspirational quote) is now on the outside of a building at the University of Warwick. Definitely a bucket list moment I didn’t know I needed.
My relationship with the university began in February 2022, and I’ve received so much support in terms of training and mentorship: they even allowed me to host my first in-person conference day at one of their venues in June 2023. So to be recognised as someone to watch feels like quite the honour!
If there was one thing you could change about peoples’ perception of disability what would it be and why?
There’s a lot of rhetoric around disabled people being scroungers. In addition, as someone with ADHD, seeing a lot in the media about over diagnosis and ADHD being caused by TikTok has been really hurtful. I feel like I’m being attacked for who I am.
In fact, disabled and neurodiverse people are so creative. We’re problem solvers from navigating an inaccessible world and are actually very employable.
Who or what inspires you?
Since starting out on this entrepreneur journey, I’ve met so many incredible founders and freelancers who are navigating life with a disability. Not only have I made some amazing friends but wow, they’re all fantastic people too who I greatly admire. I feel like if I listed them off, I’d be agonising about missing people off – but to the fellow disabled entrepreneurs in my network, you rock!
Do you have a recommendation for a book or a podcast which has helped you along your journey?
I only read fiction, and only listen to crime podcasts, so not really. However I love the Life of Pippa and Wellgood Wellbeing on Instagram. Two wonderful people who navigate the world with grace and humour, and who I’ve had the pleasure of making friends with!