Team member Owen West went off the the Houses of Parliament recently wearing his Canterbury Rugby club tie and Hellfire pin to talk to a parliamentary group investigating ways of empowering young people to help them find work.

If you have ever met Owen you will be aware that he has always refused to let his disability rule his life. He is always at training, always helping with fundraising and yes, always happy to share a drink with his team mates.

His mother Shelley West said: “It was a different kind of challenge altogether for Owen to appear before a room full of MPs and Lord Aberdare from the House of Lords, but he was keen to do his bit.”

Owen was there as a representative for Whizz Kidz, the charity for children who use wheelchairs. His question was the only one relating to accessibility in the workplace for disabled young people.

His question to the chair of the committee, Jo Gideon MP was “Why isn’t the interview process more accessible? I find it hard to speak because I have a speech impediment and anxiety.”

“I may be the best candidate for the job, but if they cannot see me, work with me, then I will not get a job and they will miss out on my genius.

“There is help in an exam situation, such as scribes and extra time. Why can’t interviewers do this?’

Speaking afterwards Owen said: “I have an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) because of my difficulties. Lots of my professionals know how to work with me to get the best from me. I use video presentations so they can be subtitled by a scribe. I use technology to help me and I have just been registered as partially sighted”.

We know that Owen really struggles when talking to new people in strange surroundings but we have seen how his videos help to express his views and help him to be understood.

The parliamentary group listened to a number of people and has issued a report on their findings which you can read at