Charity founder Sam Everard to advise government


The network is charged with improving the lives of people with disabilities across the country.


Sam, 43, from Bournemouth, established SAMEE in 2015 after the condition endometriosis made it impossible for her to work regular hours.

“We work with disabled people with multiple barriers, where self-employment is the only option.

“We work with their skills and talent sand develop something around what they can do,” she said.

She said many people found it impossible to go into a workplace regularly but could work from home successfully or run their own enterprises.

SAMEE has supported 198 people in the last year.

Among its success stories is Mike Lammas, who lost much of his hearing after an operation to remove a brain tumour and still suffers a permanent migraine. He had worked as an audio-visual consultant and went on to set up Train AV, which trains people to use AV and digital signage.

Sam is now the only accredited Disability Confident leader in Dorset. “At last, we will have the ear of the government and a formal way to feedback what disabled people in our region really need,” she said.

“This role is crucial to give disabled people a voice that is not only loud and clear but is heard loud and clear on a national level.”

Minister Justin Tomlinson said: “If we are truly to break down the barriers faced by disabled people in everyday life, it’s vital that we listen to their views. Samantha has a wealth of experience, expertise and skills that will help her to tackle the specific issues facing disabled people across South West England.

“I am delighted at the calibre of the successful candidates and looking forward to working with the Regional Stakeholder Network to drive change and improve the lives of disabled people across the country.”

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the government is committed to engaging widely with disabled people and their organisations.

Bournemouth Echo - Darren Slade