A charity which helps disabled people to start their own businesses has celebrated its fifth birthday.
SAMEE, (Support and Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship) was founded by Bournemouth entrepreneur Samantha Everard, a qualified business start-up advisor with a passion for helping vulnerable people in the community.
In just five years. Sam and her small team have built up a respected one-stop support shop for disabled people, offering self-employment guidance and mentoring.
The aim is to narrow the disability employment gap by supporting people with multiple disabilities and learning difficulties to develop their employability skills and explore self-employment opportunities.
The charity has won numerous awards for its work and is a Disability Confident Leader level 3 awarded charity – the highest level achievable and the only charity in Dorset with this status.
Wayne Ingram, chief operating officer of SAMEE said: “The thing that amazes me is the variety of self-employed ventures that our disabled entrepreneurs continue to successfully start-up.
“From a talented young lady designing fiddle rings which helps keep people with Autism, like herself, calm, to an incredible neuro-diverse gardener who provides a superb garden maintenance service to grateful customers.”
SAMEE is also recognised at a national level. CEO Samantha Everard is chairman for the government’s Regional Stakeholder Network, working alongside the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work to bring the voices of disabled people and their organisations into policy development.
Samantha Everard said: “It was such a joy to see so many of our beneficiaries, supporters and friends of the SAMEE charity at our fifth birthday celebration. Who would have thought that after just five years, we have helped over 300 disabled people become self-employed?
“The last five years have proved we live up to our name – Support, Assist, Mentor Engage and Enable.”
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