The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has been given a prestigious award.

The Trust has been given Disability Confident Leader status by the Department for Work and Pensions, making it the first Ambulance Trust to be given such an honour.

The scheme aims to help adapt workforce behaviour to allow people of all capabilities achieve a successful career.

SWASFT’s Executive Director for People and Culture, Amy Beet, said: "We are committed to supporting people with disabilities throughout their employment and to grow their careers within our organisation. SWASFT is an inclusive employer and is working with our people across the organisation to further improve their employment experience and to ensure our opportunities are open and accessible to those who wish to join our organisation, irrespective of their background or individual needs.

"We are proud to be recognised as a Disability Confident Leader and look forward to progressing our work in this area which will be to the benefit of both our current employees and those yet to join our team."

The Disability Confident organisations aim to help change attitudes and push for greater inclusivity.

Pluss, which is a social enterprise with the goal of helping people with disabilities find employment, will become part of the SWASFT recruitment process.

Grant Neems, Employer Services Manager from the Pluss said SWASFT said: "This is a prestigious award and gives independent, external recognition to the first Ambulance Trust in the country to achieve this status. There has been a tremendous amount of work and commitment from SWASFT to make this happen."

Pluss has employment operations that aim to help jobseekers get the specialist support they need.

A spokesman said: "Pluss is an award winning Social Enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities and other disadvantages move into employment each year.

"With a turnover of over £17 million and a proven track record spanning more than 45 years, we are recognised as one of the leading national disability employment specialists in the UK.

"We deliver a range of nationally and locally procured employment programmes on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), European Social Fund (ESF), Big Lottery Fund, Local Authorities and the NHS."

More information can be found at