Businesses in Hampshire collaborated to host an inspirational and passionate session about 'The Power of People in an Inclusive Future.'

On Friday, February 9, Inclusion Education and Simpila Wellbeing hosted an inspirational, energising and passionate session about the future called 'The Power of People in an Inclusive Future.'

The interactive and engaged event was developed in mid-2023, with this the third time the event had taken place having connected over 50 businesses and 75 participants through these sessions. 

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Inclusion Education is an environment that provides support to many young people living with neurodiversity and mental health challenges. Through their school, based in Viables, and the College in Hook, it provides educational provisions for young people from the community who are not in mainstream education.

Sadly there are not enough places available for the current demand of local students with educational needs, with the college hosting 70 young people aged from 16 to 25. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Matt Holman and Marie GreenhalghMatt Holman and Marie Greenhalgh (Image: Simpila Wellbeing)

Founder of Simpila Wellbeing Matt Holman first met with Inclusion Education founder and CEO, Cheryl Edwards, and Head of Inclusion College, Marie Greenhalgh, back in February 2023, and was instantly inspired to act. 

As a business owner, there are options to support the charity, but Simpila decided to use its connections and contacts to facilitate developing connections to businesses in the community.  Most of the attendees to date had never heard of Inclusion before attending the session.  

The session is focused on how workplaces can evolve in the future with a focus on neurodiversity and mental health as a priority. Matt discussed the work that each organisation can do to become neurodiverse first in their approach, catering for the minority will help everyone, creating true inclusion. 

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Marie, past Head of Inclusion and now the Innovation and Development Director, focused her part of the session on the work of Inclusion Education.  The biggest challenge can often be getting young people into a supportive learning environment, long before any intentions of getting them into a workplace. 

The only ask for the session is for those attending to consider how they might be able to help in the future, including with the launch of Inclusion EB8, opening in April in Basing View, providing practical work experience and support to a community of young people who have worked with the Inclusion college, and are now ready for employability skills.

Matt said: “Everyone attending these sessions are passionate about improving awareness of the challenges, but most importantly developing positive and practical solutions to help create inclusive workplaces in the future. 

"We have a vision that with the right support and commitment to the communities within Basingstoke and Hampshire we can show the country how we are all helping to normalise the conversations of mental health and neurodiversity, we want our community to be proud, positive and most importantly inclusive."