DurhamEnable’s recruitment offer as a Supported Employment service has proved “pivotal” to helping an inclusive listings website build its team of experts by experience.
EricKnows.co.uk was founded by Ella Bains as a resource of accessible and inclusive locations in the North of England.
There are over 1,000 listings on the website, covering healthcare, charity support, and a range of activities for individuals and families.
Eric Knows also provides training on inclusion, neurodiversity, and disability through Eric’s Inclusion Academy.
At the end of 2022 Eric Knows secured funding to employ five disabled or neurodivergent people as experts by experience who could create listings for the website using their lived experience.
Ella said: “We’re employing people directly in the know because they’ve got attention to detail, and they’ve got genuine empathy and passion for the subject.”
As a Supported Employment service, DurhamEnable was uniquely placed to help fulfil Eric Knows’ staffing needs.
Ella added: “DurhamEnable were amazing. They already had quite a list of people who were job seeking and had disabilities or learning disabilities.”
DurhamEnable was also able to provide ongoing support behind the scenes for Eric Knows. Ella said: “We know they’re always there.”
Ella added: “Because we’ve used the Access to Work scheme for all our employees, myself included, they’ve provided assistance with that. They’ve provided support workers. We couldn’t have done it without them. It’s been absolutely pivotal.”
Being supported in finding right employment also made a “profound” difference to staff at Eric Knows, especially those who had not been given the right opportunities before.
“People are passionate about the work. They’re enthusiastic. They’ve talked about a sense of purpose. A lot of the guys we have working for us, this is their first paid employment.”
“We’ve got these people with incredible skills doing incredible work, with an unreal work ethic, and these are the ones that were overlooked, these are the ones that don’t have the opportunities.” Ella added.
As a neurodivergent professional, Ella found DurhamEnable was also able to respect her needs throughout the recruitment and support processes, and that overall the support had helped her business.
“It’s not just a lip service. They’re properly eating and breathing this stuff from the inside out. It’s like an integral part of what we’re doing. They genuinely get it, which is vital.”
If you are interested in what Eric Knows does, you can visit them at www.ericknows.co.uk