A TEACHER has enjoyed a secret meeting with the prime minister in a bid to encourage more businesses to hire disabled people.
Lizzie Baily, 29, shared her experiences with David Cameron at a conference in London to launch the Disability Confident campaign.
Prior to attending, she was informed she would meet the prime minister to discuss employment opportunities – but the meeting had to be kept secret.
“I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody,” said Lizzie, who was born with congenital muscular dystrophy and has worked at Medmerry Primary School since 2005.
“I could only tell my parents. They had to help me get to London. Nobody knew until afterwards.
“It was quite an easy secret to keep.
“They told me if there was a world crisis obviously the prime minister wouldn’t be able to make it.
“In the back of my mind I thought it might not happen.
“It was such an amazing thing to happen and which I never thought would happen.”
Speaking about the meeting, she said: “He was really fantastic; he listened really well. Five of us met him. He came in and sat down and said: ‘I’ve heard about your stories but now I need to match up your faces with your stories’.”
Lizzie, from Sidlesham, has been involved with the Disability Confident campaign, created by the Department for Work and Pensions, since work started in January.
Head teacher of Medmerry Primary George Bell described her as a ‘positive role model for disabled people’.
He urged other employers to have a ‘diverse workforce’, representing their communities.
Around 300 employers attended the conference in July – the first of its kind in the country.
The Disability Confident campaign was launched as new research showed disabled jobseekers found employers’ attitudes more of a barrier to work than transport.
More information on the campaign is available at www.gov.uk/dwp/disabilityconfident.