‘Dawn Bell – and Her Own Business’ – Dawn is a young woman with a learning disability who dawn bellthe Community Housing and Support Network have been helping to start and run her own business. Dawn started her business in September 2014 with the aim of helping disabled people have better lives by sharing her story with people and organisations. She is a consultant and trainer and also offers ‘speaking up’ support to other disabled people.

Dawn has been doing a great deal for many years to improve the lives of people with learning disability and has been the Co-Chair of the Northamptonshire Learning Disability Partnership Board for over 5 years, and the Chair of Central England People First, based in Kettering.

She has a wealth of experience to share and, although she regularly does many hours of voluntary work, it had looked increasingly unlikely that Dawn would get more than a few hours of paid work a month.

After attending a Self Employment Course for disabled people, the Community Housing and Support Network worked with Dawn to create her own job by starting her own business.

Some people think self employment can be lonely but Dawn often teams up with other disabled people who also have a business or who help out through the Community Housing and Support Network. So people are rarely alone if they don’t wish to be. As well as providing the self employment course, the Network has also produced a Self Employment Guide and they give talks providing information about self employment for disabled people and how to work with the benefit system.

Please find details of Dawn’s business and a summary of her progress after her first full year of business operation.

If you would like Dawn to come and help you or to share her story about her business, or you want to learn more about the special help we can provide to help disabled people think about starting their own business, then please get in touch with Marion Turner-Hawes, Director and Coordinator, Community Housing and Support Network marioturner@hotmail.co.uk or 01933 381467.