This virtual event will look at what moves can be taken to ensure more disabled people have opportunities for employment. The event will be Chaired by the CDG's Policy Lead, Michelle Lowe. The panelists for the event are as follows:
About Michelle Lowe - (Chair) Michelle joined the CDG's Executive in March 2020 and is the lead for Policy issues and development. She is particularly interested in widening opportunities in society for disabled people. Michelle first became aware of the challenges disabled people face from the experiences of her mum who has an invisible disability.
Michelle is also the former Cabinet Member for Housing and Health at Sevenoaks District Council and served on the Council for many years, including as the Deputy Leader. During her time as a District Councillor she worked to make the area more accessible for disabled people and their families and carers.
In the 2017 General Election she stood as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the Coventry South constituency, and in 2015 in the Coventry North East constituency.
Follow Michelle on on Twitter: @MichelleLowe14
- About Katrina Sale - Katrina has an invisible disability and works for the Conservative Party. She is currently setting up a recruitment company for people with neurological disorders that focuses on peoples' gifts and talents. She is also a former Parliamentary candidate and contested Doncaster North during the 2019 General Election.
- About Harry Newton - Harry is a 30 year old gregarious West Yorkshire lad who now lives in a beautiful part of rural South West Wiltshire near Salisbury with his parents. He was born with cerebral palsy from birth and is permanently in a wheelchair. For some 12 and a half years he was a member of the Labour Party, but due to their policies he found himself marginalised.
He has a particular interest in paid employment for people with disabilities, empowering individuals and removing barriers and obstacles. Due to his condition he has found this area sadly lacking and paid employment opportunities difficult to find - this has led him to seek voluntary opportunities. These were with local not for profit organisations called Swan Advocacy Network, TheShaw Trust and Scope. He has a keen interest in social issues regarding disability, the homeless and the marginalised. He is also a regular blogger about his daily life.
His charismatic Christian faith keeps him grounded. Attending a local church on the Salisbury Plain his charismatic faith is fundamentally important to him.
He is keen on all sports and achieved grade 1 cricket umpiring. He is an executive member of Hampshire Cricket at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
He completed a long distance politics OU course by going back and doing an access to FE course. While attending a non-maintained boarding school and college outside of Alton in East Hampshire. A relatively new party member - Harry joined the Party in October 2019 - he has wasted no time in getting involved with various groups across the Conservative Party. These include the Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF) and his local hub of the South West Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) and at his local association level.
Harry also has a passion for supporting the Blue Wall 2019 Conservative Intake through his grassroots membership of the Southwest regional Blue-Collar Conservatives hub and he is also a member of the Tory Reform Group (TRG). He is also a member of the Executive of the Conservative Disability Group (CDG) and a regular participant at the CDG's events.
Some of his other interests are food, real ale and he is a member of CAMRA, the campaign for real ale. He loves to socialise with friends which unfortunately has been put on hold since March. Thank goodness for Zoom. He has been involved with non league football since 2008 and and has attended over 600 matches both home and away some as far as Southport and Grimsby. He joined Liberate dance group during shielding and goes now on most Saturday afternoons to Winchester.
- About Jonathan Smith - Jonathan is a member of the CDG, 29 years old and is a very enthusiastic and active member of his local Conservative Association, South East Cambridgeshire. He has mild cerebral palsy and a moderate learning disability. For the the last 10 years, he has enjoyed various advocacy roles. At FE college he was a course representative, a student governor and Student Union Equality and Diversity Officer. Most recently, he has become a member of the Eastern Regional Stakeholder Network, representing a local Social Enterprise.
Finding paid employment has proved difficult, but Jonathan tries to keep busy with volunteering and work experience. He also takes part in various church, community and political activities. He is keen to explore ways in which people like himself can be supported into some form of paid employment.
This event is for CDG members. To register for this event please visit the contact section of the CDG website.