Some of Wales’ biggest landmarks made time to shine during International Day of Persons With Disabilities to bathe their premises in purple light for disabled people everywhere.
Supporters worldwide joined forces for Purple Light Up 2018 to celebrate the economic power of disabled people on Monday, December 3rd.
Cardiff Castle, The Senedd, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff City Hall and more turned the night sky purple in the Welsh capital – with the DVLA, Swansea Council, University of South Wales, Go Compare and others following suit across South Wales.
Alex Currie, HR director at Newport-headquartered GoCompare Group plc, said:
“We’re going purple because we believe passionately in the importance of workplace diversity.
“Different backgrounds, experiences and mindsets make for a productive, varied and effective workforce – not only is encouraging and supporting diversity the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.
“Joining the Purple Light Up is our way of showing solidarity with this important cause; one that reflects our company values and champions what people can do, over what they can’t,” he added.
Just 47.3% of the disabled population in Wales are in work compared to 53% in the rest of the UK, while only 43% of working-age people with a disability or long-term health condition in Wales are employed compared to 79% of non-disabled people without a health condition.
This is a health and disability employment gap in Wales of 36% – while the equivalent UK gap is 32%.
Wales’ Purple Light Up Ambassador, Swansea businessman Julian John, said:
“In Wales we have the opportunity to become a leading nation for inclusion, specifically around disability and employment”
“I can therefore only describe seeing these most iconic of Welsh buildings join forces to power the night sky purple in celebration of the contribution that disabled people to the economy and in the workplace as a breath taking and magical moment.”
After an acquired brain injury left him having to learn to stand, walk and talk again a decade ago, Julian now helps businesses regionally and across the UK be more inclusive in the workplace through Delsion, a people and development consultancy he launched following nearly a decade of unemployment and witnessing first hand the barriers that disabled people can face around gaining and retaining employment.
For more information on the Purple Light Up UK campaign visit: https://www.purplespace.org/purple-light-up