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The Story Behind Patchwork Hub and our Patchworker Placement Scheme

The Story Behind Patchwork Hub and our Patchworker Placement Scheme

Beth Kume-Holland,
Founder and CEO of Patchwork Hub.

Who we are

Patchwork Hub is a disabled-led employment platform, recruitment consultancy, and training provider which connects inclusive employers with an ‘invisible talent pool’ of professionals. This pool includes highly-skilled individuals, from disabled people through to carers and parents, who are all looking to find work and thrive.

We are a small disabled-led, female-led social enterprise and growing start-up. We are working diligently to present a unique, accessible and sustainable model of work.

We pride ourselves in a sustainable and responsible approach and work with proven and accessible processes, training and support to deliver the best services for our clients.

How we started

Like many organisations and innovations, the idea for Patchwork Hub developed from personal experiences.

Graduating from Oxford University with First Class Honours, I had just run a summer school access programme to bring students from “disadvantaged” backgrounds to university, the very same access summer school that I had attended, aged 17. I then received a full Kennedy Scholarship for postgraduate study at Harvard, before fully launching myself into the working world.

However, my chronic health conditions changed the way I could work. Despite great efforts and sacrifices, I could not sustainably work a conventional 9 to 5 office job. Although I tried my best, I could not find an easy way to work sustainably around my health. These efforts were all based on trying to fit me back into the workplace, rather than fitting the workplace around me. This made me think, what if I created a social enterprise that does just that - fits the workplace around the needs of the individual? This sparked the foundation of Patchwork Hub.

The defining moment for this idea coalesced into a driving motivation during an ME/CFS advocacy meeting in the United States Congress. Sat around the table in a Senators’ office I heard many stories of high-achieving and highly skilled individuals who had been forced to stop work due to their illness. Globally, millions of people are missing from the labour market, as there is no accessible or sustainable way for them to find work or help them continue in work, even though they may be able and want to do so.

I began thinking about the potential of creating an accessible platform through which users could connect with employers, access training and support, and facilitate a different way of work. What if we could centralise accessible work opportunities and connect employers with a highly-skilled talent pool that for too long have been excluded? 

The more I began working on this founding idea, the more convinced I became of its potential. I came back to the UK and have been working non-stop ever since!

What services do we provide?

Alongside providing training and consultancy to support employers to retain a diverse workforce and create a culture for disclosure, our main service is in helping employers to find and attract talent via our accessible jobs board.

Employers advertise jobs through us via a monthly or annual partnership package, or organisations with more ad-hoc needs can purchase one-off single-use job adverts. Please email info@patchworkhub.org to find out more.

Growing fast already, we’ve recently been awarded a number of accolades, and are incredibly proud to have been recognised for our work and vision.

Some of these include:

While our jobs board helps exceptional businesses find exceptional candidates for longer-term employment, we also wanted to offer internship opportunities. This is where the idea of our Patchworker Placement Scheme blossomed.

Patchworker Placement Scheme

The Patchworker Placement Scheme is our award-winning programme of sponsored internships and employment opportunities. Put simply, we find, recruit and onboard exceptional candidates for your business from the 'invisible talent pool'.

Supporting these individuals, we build relationships with all of our applicants, which we continue during their placements to equip them to thrive in their roles. Not only do employers find exceptional candidates to join their business, they learn best practice to implement across their business’ recruitment and onboarding process.

We are currently looking for employers to take part in our 2022 Summer Internship Scheme. Please email enquiries@patchworkhub.org if you’re interested!

Why get involved in the Patchworker Placement Scheme?

Disability awareness

By joining the Patchworker Placement Scheme, your company is making an active commitment to becoming disability confident. Not only will you receive highly-talented candidates into your workplace, but our guidance and support will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to emulate best practice across your business.

Skilled and capable candidates

You will gain access to highly-skilled and capable candidates from the ‘invisible talent pool’. 1 in 5 people in the UK live with a disability and our ‘new normal’ provides a real chance to remove barriers for so many. The time is now for inclusive recruitment.

Improved company culture

Our employers experience wider benefits beyond the expertise that interns themselves bring. Taking part will help your company create a culture for disclosure within your teams while showcasing to the wider network that you are committed to placing disability inclusion at the top of business practice.

Testimonials from our Patchworkers and Employers

We are incredibly proud of our Patchworker Placement Scheme and are delighted to share with you some of the experiences of those involved.

“I applied for a job through Patchwork Hub and secured employment at a FTSE 100 company. That is so fantastic, not just for my bank account and CV but also for my confidence. Without Patchwork Hub - both its accessibility and the support and understanding they offer - this would not have happened for me. A platform taking a proactive approach to raising awareness amongst employers, and approaching disability inclusion in a way where we’re not ‘othered’, is transformational.”

  • Rock Bell, Patchworker Placement Scheme 2021

We are proud to be partnering with Patchwork Hub. The Placement programme and the support we received from Patchwork Hub and Beth has been fantastic. Attracting and recruiting a diverse group of candidates with multiple needs brings difference into your business. Difference in a business is hugely important...We certainly saw some fantastic diversity of thought and different skill sets brought to the business working with Patchwork Hub and the candidates that they had in their talent pool.”

  • St James’s Place Wealth Management, Patchworker Placement Scheme employer

Can you offer an exceptional candidate an internship this summer?

Get in touch with us today at: info@patchworkhub.org

Connect with Beth Kume-Holland on LinkedIn

Visit our website

Written by Beth Kume-Holland

Edited by Kyle Raymond