Sophie Tredinnick, AESC IDEA Award Winner 2020

Sophie Tredinnick, who leads Saxton Bampfylde's work in central government, identified a need to address the issues of talented, mid-career Civil Servants with disabilities, who were ambitious and keen to progress in their careers within the public sector. She has led the creation, roll-out and management of what has become the REACH Programme. This programme has now been in operation since 2019 and is about to enter its second round. The programme is managed by Saxton Bampfylde on a pro bono basis.

In the initial year of operation, the REACH Programme has included 20 mentees, and the same number of mentors. One of the key challenges regarding diversity in senior appointments is there is an insufficient pool of people from under-represented backgrounds who are in a position to step up, due to poor career progression at more junior and middle levels. The intention of the programme is to give participants with disabilities a safe forum to talk with someone who understands their situation; for mentees to share their concerns/frustrations with progressing in their career as a person with a disability; and for mentors to help provide guidance, support, and reflections on their own journeys as the mentees try to move to the next level in their career.

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