(From left to right) Josh Wintersgill, Founder, ableMove UK; Andrew Douglass, Founder, Parallel Lifestyle; Shani Dhanda, Founder, Diversability Card
From left to right: Josh Wintersgill, Founder of ableMove UK; Andrew Douglass, Founder of Parallel Lifestyle; and Shani Dhanda, Founder of Diversability Card.

To mark the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3 December 2021, social enterprise Parallel Lifestyle has teamed up with sustainable activewear brand, BAM, and the enterprise support charity, Hatch Enterprise, to encourage businesses and the public to buy and wear a pair of Parallel’s Purple Socks.

Using this year’s IDPD as a platform, the inaugural Purple Sock Day will engage businesses and the public to take part in wearing Parallel-designed purple socks by BAM, which will retail at £5.

The aim is to raise greater awareness of disability inclusion and deaf and disabled founders, with half of the Purple Sock Day profits going towards a new fund that will be used to provide grants to founders, professional advice, mentoring, networking opportunities and tailored business support across a range of disabilities.

Hatch Enterprise will oversee the fund; implementing the framework, governance, and expertise to support budding deaf and disabled entrepreneurs. The other half of Purple Sock Day profits will be reinvested into growing it into an annual campaign and other Parallel social enterprise projects.

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Andrew Douglass, Founder of Parallel said: “Part of our social mission at Parallel is to combine innovative thinking with action to achieve greater disability inclusion across society.

“Purple Sock Day will help deliver a sustainable and long-term solution to better support the potential of our deaf and disabled business talent; whilst also creating something fun which everyone of all abilities can take part in together. I hope everyone will wear a pair and show they care.”

David Gordon, Founder at BAM said: “At BAM, we celebrate being the best you can be regardless of age and ability. We’re delighted to support Parallel in raising awareness of disability inclusion by making these unbelievably soft performance socks for Purple Sock Day.

“BAM was founded on innovation, both with our materials and ensuring we tread as lightly as possible on the planet, so we understand the importance of nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. We hope that as much money as possible can be raised for this important new fund.”

Dirk Bischof, Chief Executive of Hatch Enterprise, added: “We know underrepresented founders in the UK face so many additional barriers, and it’s becoming increasingly clear to us that so much more can be done to support deaf and disabled entrepreneurs in the UK to start and grow their businesses and bring new inventions to market.

“We are excited about the first Purple Sock Day and our role in making sure the funds raised become the platform of support that deaf and disabled entrepreneurs need.”

The aim of IDPD is to shine a much-needed light on the challenges faced by deaf and disabled entrepreneurs in the UK and to help them thrive.

Making the world of work more inclusive and accessible are constant barriers to employment opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the UK – an issue which was recently highlighted by the government’s new National Disability Strategy.

People living with disabilities often turn to self-employment and entrepreneurship to create their own opportunities, with the Office for National Statistics finding that the employment rate is around 30 per cent lower amongst disabled individuals versus non-disabled.

Support for deaf and disabled entrepreneurs is also under-served, according to a report commissioned by Innovate UK, holding back the vast potential of this talent and the benefits it can bring to society and the UK economy.

According to its report, approximately half of disabled business owners cited lack of finance or capital as a barrier to innovating.

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/33a176f8ec3c38f2339cae05ec10525d00ebad46.jpg?fit=900%2C754&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/33a176f8ec3c38f2339cae05ec10525d00ebad46.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorBAM,deaf,Disability,Diversability Card,International Day of Persons with Disabilities,Parallel LifestyleTo mark the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3 December 2021, social enterprise Parallel Lifestyle has teamed up with sustainable activewear brand, BAM, and the enterprise support charity, Hatch Enterprise, to encourage businesses and the public to buy and wear a pair of Parallel’s Purple Socks. Using this year’s IDPD...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals