8 March 2017

Sharon Patmore #IWD2017

Yesterday, RBLI hosted a Ladies' Lunch at the House of Lords where 100 influential women from across the private and public sectors gathered to discuss the challenges disabled people face in finding employment and ways to close the disability employment gap. Today for International Women's Day #IWD2017, we look at some of the influential women who attended. 

Sharon has been working at Royal British Legion Industries for almost 10 years and in that time has provided support, directly and indirectly, to hundreds of individuals. As the Head of Workplace Psychology she has worked across a range of programmes including Pathways to Work, Workstep, Access to Work and more recently supporting the Work Programme teams to help those who are unemployed find and stay in work. 

Sharon is an innovator. She is the powerful mind behind RBLI’s successful LifeWorks courses which change the lives of Veterans across the UK who experience disabilities and/or mental health difficulties. The Learning and Work Institute recently carried out an evaluation of the LifeWorks programme which has helped almost 600 long-term unemployed military veterans over the last five years. Statistics show that 83% of delegates are finding some form of employment, education or training, despite 79% having a health condition or disability. 

Without her passion, dedication and belief, Lifeworks would not be what it is today. She is now pioneering the use of the LifeWorks model to support a wider range of people, including those with disabilities.

Before joining RBLI, Sharon was a Work Psychologist in Kent for nine years. She believes that work can be a really helpful activity for most people, keeping them healthy and well in both mind and body. Sharon is also a role model who keeps herself fit, and dedicates her time to raising money for charities. 

Sharon has worked in Training and Development for nearly 30 years. The expertise she has in providing tailored support, as well as her wide range of knowledge, are helping RBLI to support the government’s aim of halving the disability employment gap – something which could improve the lives of 10s of 1000s of people across the UK.

At current employment levels, halving the gap would require over one million more disabled people to be in work and achieving this will require a clear focus on the role that employers and in-work support must play, as well as careful consideration of the necessary role of benefits.