Latest News Valuing Disability Business of the Year bemix are proud to sponsor and judge the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBAs), Valuing Disability Business of the Year category, alongside co-sponsor and judge, The Specialist Employment Service from The Education People. The award champions businesses that value disabled employees and customers, seeing their potential to add to business success. These winners showcase how businesses big and small gain from valuing disability. Finalists and winners from this year's awards have all thought deeply and worked skilfully to value disabled employees, reinforcing their success. It was a joy to see such passion and professionalism up close. Learn more about the KEiBAs Celebratory photo from KEiBA 2019 Kent Excellence in Business Award finalists and winners in 2021 Caremark Thanet were clear winners with outstanding commercial impact through valuing disabled staff and clients. Averaging 80% turnover growth per year over three years, Caremark is a leading provider of 24-hour care in people’s own homes. Despite the challenges of recruitment to social care, managers resist the pressure to overload staff rotas, thereby achieving strong loyalty and retention. Disabled carers thrive in this supportive environment and go above and beyond for the business. Mark, for example, developed Parkinson’s after joining Caremark, and was supported to become a Parkinson’s UK Ambassador. Featured in local media, Mark has strengthened Caremark’s reputation and brand. Winners of the Valuing Disability Business of the year Award, Caremark Thanet, with bemix Co-Chair of the Board, Steve Chapman As equal runners-up, Dovetail Games and Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (KCHFT) made a great impression. Also commercially successful, Dovetail boasts an outstanding disability-accessible workplace, ranging from sensory lighting for autistic staff to a gold-standard Changing Places toilet for limited mobility. KCHFT is peerless in Kent for their skill matching jobs to different disabilities. Their recruitment process enables people to apply on a level playing field and feel safe disclosing disabilities Finalists, Dovetail Games with with bemix Co-Chair of the Board, Steve Chapman Finalists, Kent Community Health Foundation Trust with with bemix Co-Chair of the Board, Steve Chapman Learn more about the KEiBAs 80% of Kent’s adults are in work, but only 53% of people with disabilities get the same chance to boost Kent’s economy with their skills. As the need for local, loyal workers grows, employers tapping into the talents of disabled people are really onto something. Through our Supported Internships job-matching programme, we have worked with many such employers across Kent and Medway over the past few years. "We know there are many fabulous employers in Kent and Medway who value disabled employees and the skills and experience they bring. We see examples of employers making reasonable adjustments to fully include disabled employees in their workforce and can see the value this brings to their business." - Matt Clifton, CEO bemix Valuing Disability Business of the Year - Category details This category is open to any business, irrespective of size or sector, that can demonstrate commercial success through valuing disabled people who work for, and interact with, the business. The organisation must show evidence that it has schemes, initiatives and policies that have maximum positive impact on recruiting, retaining and promoting disabled talent. Judges will be looking for strong examples of how working with disabled people has achieved positive outcomes for business, staff and customers. This category is not open to organisations whose primary target market is people with disabilities, or buyers of services for disabled people. This year, entrants must have been trading for a minimum of two years as of 30th June 2021. Learn more about the KEiBAs A panel of judges with and without disabilities will be looking for success and achievements in the following areas Trends in your business turnover and profit levels Key objectives with particular reference to valuing disability How valuing disability remains a key driver in your business The positive impact employing someone with a disability has had on your business, staff and customers Innovative approaches to the recruitment, retention and development of disabled employees How your business has benefited from employing a wider talent pool of disabled people Vision for expanding your good practice in working with disabled people Our vision for the award With encouragement from our friends at Family Business Place, one of KEiBA's partners, we developed a new Awards category to celebrate this inclusive and valuing way of working. Our aim is that it influences other businesses so that valuing employment for disabled people becomes a widespread culture within business in Kent and Medway. Partnering with The Specialist Employment Service from The Education People to jointly sponsor the category was a natural fit. Their excellence in working with employers in supporting disabled people matches our ethos. Although bemix specialises in working to ensure that people with learning difficulties and/or autism are seen, heard and belong in the workplace, this KEiBA category covers all disability including sensory, physical, learning difficulty/disability, long-term health conditions, mental illness and autism. Past Finalists and Winners In 2019, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Twilight Cleaning and RBLI took centre stage as the Valuing Disability Business Award finalists and winners. Bluewater is a household name placing disabled people front-of-house, Twilight Cleaning are a tiny startup punching above their weight, while RBLI are masters of social enterprise. Read more about our 2019 finalists, visit 'Valuing disabled people at Kent's biggest business awards' 2019 Winners, Bluewater Shopping Centre and Finalists, Twilight Cleaning Next year, you could get your organisation's name on the map as our winner or finalist! Stay up to date with KEiBA announcements, visit their website.