Today’s inspiration steps it up for disability rights

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Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility.

Meet Annabel Kaye

Employment law specialist Annabel Kaye is the managing director and founder of employment law specialists She regularly speaks at meetings of Endometriosis UK support groups on subjects such as disability rights, and recently ran a virtual coffee morning for Macmillan.
How did you become involved?
“I was invited to speak at the National Endometriosis UK conference in April, with the aim of helping sufferers understand their employment rights: if you suffer from this condition it can be disabling. As a result I created a number of downloads that I host on my website and have gone on to do dial ins and am now organising virtual webinars continuing the theme of helping sufferers understand their rights in the workplace. As it’s a charity I could have just as easily given some cash to the cause, but this way I make a connection at a much deeper level.

The virtual Macmillan coffee morning was for all those people who can’t swan away from their desks to sit and eat tea and cakes, or just can’t get out to a venue where a coffee morning is being hosted. I got together a whole host of speakers who very kindly gave their time and it’s been an opportunity for anyone to take 10-20 minutes out of their day, whilst still sitting at their desk, and learn something new.”

Why is this a good fit for you?
“I’m not going run 5k anytime soon and the coffee morning is a way of getting involved in a way that suits me. That whole 5k things can be incredibly alienating, either because of the emphasis on pushing yourself physically when some people just can’t, or the amount of time it takes up. This is something that fits into my world and plays to my strengths.

Endometriosis UK is a cause that I empathise with. I have watched a family member suffer with it, and I find it shocking that the average length of time from turning up to your doctor and being properly diagnosed is 7 years, and we are talking about regular and serious pain here. It’s a big issue and all tied up with gender politics.”

What have you gotten out of it?
“I have to continuously improve my expertise, both from a technical standpoint when it comes to things like hosting a virtual coffee morning, (I run KoffeeKlatch webinars for my own customers all year round but never with such large groups) and in connecting with Endometriosis sufferers. They are a tough audience and I certainly have to be on top of my game.”

What would your advice be for someone thinking of doing something like this?
“Do what you are good at and don’t even think of learning on someone else’s time. Collaboration is a good idea: I am big picture and it suits me to work with detail people to get things happening. The best results are a team job so become a team player.  It will take about twice as long as you imagined – but it will be worth it – not just the fund raising but the people who work alongside you make it worthwhile.”


Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!


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