8 March 2017

Lyanne Nicholl #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. 

Lyanne Nicholl is a charity professional who has worked for a number of not-for-profit organisations over the last 10 years, including Young Epilepsy, QEST and Royal British Legion Industries. Lyanne is passionate about the role that charities and voluntary sector organisations play in supporting the most disadvantaged or discriminated against in society and how they can be a positive force for change.

Lyanne played a key role in a project which raised enough funds to build a new school and aqua centre in Surrey for children with severe and complex epilepsy, and other associated conditions. St Piers School now provides education, health and residential services for children and young people aged between five and 25 who have special educational needs, which includes complex conditions. Lyanne implemented an apprenticeship programme whilst at QEST which piqued her interest in employment issues.

She is currently involved in West Kent Mind and interested in launching new initiatives to help people with mental health issues back into to work.

Lyanne feels strongly that there are still too many inequalities in our society, which is evident in the disability employment gap. Increased awareness, understanding, flexibility and innovation will be key to the success of halving the disability employment gap, not the draconian and short-sighted approaches of yesteryear. She looks forward to a time, hopefully not too far off, when prejudice and misunderstandings about disability and mental health issues no longer exist and there is real inclusivity and diversity in our workforce.