Award wins for Disability Confident employer in Dorset

21 May 2024

Dorset Careers Hub is celebrating the news that two Dorset employers, Marsham Court Hotel and The Crumbs Project received special recognition for their commitment in gaining Disability Confident Leader status as a result of their involvement in the 2023 Removing Barriers project.

A Dorset-wide project that sought to create greater employment opportunities across the region for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by increasing the number of Disability Confident Employers.

The Award was presented at a Diversity Seminar hosted by SeeTec Pluss and attended by Tobias Ellwood, MP, in Bournemouth last week.

Both award winning organisations were part of a group of 11employers from across Dorset that achieved Disability Confident status by participating in Dorset Careers Hub funded Removing Barriers project, which came to a close in September 2023.

The aim of the project was to increase the number of Disability Confident Employers in Dorset, with the goal of improving the long-term sustainable job opportunities for young people aged 16-19 with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


Why is this important?

· One in five adults have a disability of some kind, yet only 6% of adults with a learning disability are in a paid job and 60% would like to join the workforce.

· By being more inclusive and accessible, employers can tap into this capable workforce, creating healthy diversity within their workplace and giving these young people a much-needed chance.


Removing Barriers - Increasing Inclusion in the Dorset workforce

· By the end of the Removing Barriers project (as of September 2023), the number of Disability Confident ‘Employers’ across Dorset had increased by almost a quarter (from 25 to 31 or 24%).

· The number of Disability Leaders had increased from just one to six. For a full list of the employers involved please see Notes to Editors below.

Commenting on the award win, Cecilia Bufton, Dorset LEP Chair of the Board, who presented Marsham Court Hotel and The Crumbs Project with their awards at the event:

“These award wins show the impact and immediate legacy that has been generated by Dorset Careers Hub funded Removing Barriers project. We hope the recognition received by Marsham Court Hotel and The Crumbs Project will demonstrate to employers across Dorset the value and importance in gaining Disability Confident status. There is a huge amount of talent out there that is not being utilised.”

Ursula Boardman from The Crumbs Training Project one of the Dorset businesses recognised by the SeeTec Pluss award says:

"We're thrilled to be recognised in this way. With our focus on raising the awareness the contributions that those with disabilities can bring to the workforce, what we have learnt and gained from becoming a Disability Confident Employer is immense.

It's thanks to the Removing Barriers to Inclusion project and the dedicated team at Dorset Careers Hub for their vision in giving our employers the opportunity, confidence and training to connect with young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.”


Helping employers become Disability Confident

Are you, or do you know of Dorset business that would like to become Disability Confident?

A special toolkit has been developed by Andrew Holland at SendMe2Work in partnership with Dorset Careers Hub, it is available free in support of employers becoming a Disability Confident:


Notes to Editors:

About the Removing Barriers Project:

The programme, was funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company and delivered in partnership between Dorset Careers Hub and Send me to work, led by Andrew Holland.

It saw 11 employers large and small sign-up to the project and make a commitment to being more inclusive, through recognition of all disabilities, physical and invisible, making reasonable adjustments, and bringing about organisation-wide culture change. By introducing young people to our employers, we removed some of the fear of the unknown.

Dorset based employers that have gained Disability Confident Employers as part of the Removing Barriers Project include:

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Bournemouth University

Brewhouse & Kitchen

Dorset Council

Julia’s House


Lewco Holdings

Marsham Court Hotel


The Crumbs Project

Weymouth College


About Dorset Careers Hub:

Dorset Careers Hub connects education and employers to improve careers provision across the region. Funded by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) in partnership with BCP Council and Dorset Council, our role is to help young people in Dorset progress into promising careers and fulfil their potential.

For more information, please visit our website:


About Dorset LEP:

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset. For more information visit the Dorset LEP website: