Caterpillar staff raise £34,000 to help improve the prospects for young disabled people

Caterpillar employees in Desford raised nearly £34,000 for local charity, Menphys. Events throughout the year included a Family Fun Day on the Desford site, sponsored bike ride, marathon runs, a bring-and-buy sale, an inflatable 5K race and a triathlon at Rutland Water.

Menphys was very pleased with their initial £21,500 fundraising efforts, but when Caterpillar decided to top this up with another £12,500 from their Community Fund, Menphys was delighted.

Menphys supports disabled children and young people and their families in Leicester and Leicestershire. Money raised by Caterpillar will go towards supporting Menphys’ Work Ready Crew project. Menphys and Caterpillar are working in partnership to provide work placement opportunities for disabled 16-25 year-olds.

The first cohort of young disabled people started at Caterpillar in January 2019, taking up placements in different areas of the business such as manufacturing, engineering and packaging. Each group of participants will spend six weeks on the scheme, then a new cohort of young people will join, giving them their first experience in the world of work and increasing their chances of employability.

Young people with disabilities are at greater risk of coming under the NEET umbrella (Not in Education, Employment or Training) as able-bodied young people. There are currently 70 young people from Menphys on the waiting list to join this programme and the charity is looking to use the money to expand the programme among other partner companies to broaden the scheme. A step-by-step guide to help prospective employers also accommodate disabled young people in a production environment, in which the experience and input from Caterpillar will be included, will be developed by Menphys.

Tony Carr, BCP UK Operations Manager at Caterpillar, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to work so closely with Menphys during the past two years and I am delighted that this partnership will continue with the Work Ready Crew project. Providing opportunities to young people with disabilities has always been a passion of mine and I am excited to see how this will positively impact the young people involved.”

Jessica Buckley, Menphys Work Ready Crew Project Co-ordinator, added: “The £34,000 donation from Caterpillar will ensure that we can provide work opportunities for disabled young people. Menphys is so grateful for the Caterpillar team’s engagement, which is helping us improve the lives of these young people.

“The Work Ready Crew project will offer an excellent platform for young people with disabilities to develop new skills, enhance their CV and increase their employability as they progress to adulthood.”

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