Press Release

New professional development network hub for disabled employees

disabilityPurpleSpace was launched yesterday – an innovative online platform that brings together disability network leaders in the workplace to share best practice advice that will drive cultural change on disability in business.

The new platform offers a unique one-stop shared space for disabled employee network leaders to find contacts, links, help, support, and information to aid in the recruitment and career progression for disabled talent. 130 network leaders from across the UK came to the launch event hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills.

Kate Nash OBE, Creator of PurpleSpace said:

“PurpleSpace will facilitate the biggest UK conversation between network leaders and disabled employees about how to stay in work and flourish when you acquire a disability or health condition.”

Kate Nash Associates work with 300 disabled employee networks (DENs) with a combined community each of approximately 850,000 disabled employees. PurpleSpace was developed with a reference group of over 30 DENs including Barclays Bank Reach Network, the Civil Service Disability Network, the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks and the Disabled Police Assocations. The platform includes resources such as In The Chair, that offers a collection of top tips for anyone running a network. 

David Caldwell, Reach Network COO, Barclays Bank PLC and a founding member of PurpleSpace said: 

“PurpleSpace is groundbreaking; a new digital space that enables disabled professionals and network leaders to come together across the private and public sectors to share ideas and best practice. 

“As founding members of PurpleSpace, Barclays Reach Network now has access to a greater wealth of experience and expertise that enables our colleagues to learn, progress their careers and help the bank to become more inclusive for disabled employees and customers.”

Hamied Haroon, Founder & Convener of the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) said:

“The launch of the PurpleSpace initiative couldn’t have come at a more critical time for disabled employees. PurpleSpace will provide a unique platform for me and other network leaders from disparate sectors and backgrounds to connect and support each other.”

Network leaders have come out in full support to celebrate PurpleSpace and the fresh new conversations to be had about purple talent at work.

Jeanette Rosenberg, Chair of the Disability Advisory Group & Chair of Civil Service said:

“I’m really excited about the arrival of PurpleSpace and the chance to share good working practices and ideas and to network with other DENs.”

Andy Garrett, PurpleSpace Ambassador and Vice-Chair of the Disabled Police Association echoes this support:

“I am full of excitement and anticipation that PurpleSpace will open and build multiple new avenues for disability networks and their leaders; developing their skills, sharing resources & initiatives and working together to release disability potential across a wide range of organisations.”

Kate Nash goes on to say:

“We are indebted to individuals at Herbert Smith Freehills, EY, Barclays, Spoke Conversation, Xperedon and Really Useful Stuff who have provided know-how and resources to build PurpleSpace. Their support puts us on track to create a new social and economic ‘movement’ of employees helping others to navigate the experience of disability and stay in and get on at work.” 

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