How storytelling is key to building a strong sense of self

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One of the most powerful ways of communicating with our colleagues and raising awareness of disability is through storytelling.

Telling tales about disability

In partnership with PurpleSpace, a leading networking and professional development hub for disabled employees, Nationwide hosted a panel event where attendees heard from Kate Nash OBE, PurpleSpace CEO, writer and performer Penny Pepper and Roland Chesters, who have both released books discussing their disabilities.

The mental health and unspoken side of disabilities were reoccurring themes, with Penny alluding to false assumptions that people make, such as a physically disabled woman not being able to have a relationship. Roland cited the stigma of having HIV and how people wouldn’t want to shake his hand or embrace him.

No regrets, no barriers  

Many questions were posed by the engaged audience, including ‘if you had the choice to get rid of your disability, would you do it?’ and the unequivocal response from the panel - no. Those experiences and the challenges they’ve faced have made them who they are today.

Julia Dunn, Nationwide’s Chief Risk Officer opened the event with Rob Angus, Exec champion of our Enable Disability network, which helps disabled employees to develop and drive their career, also provided personal accounts.

As a parent of children with autism, Rob said: “I want my children to grow up in a world that treats them equally, makes them feel included and doesn’t put barriers in front of them that other children don’t have. They both see the power of storytelling as it connects people together in a way nothing else does.”

Nationwide is absolutely committed to ensuring that all colleagues can bring their whole selves to work.

Pictured from left to right: Kate Nash OBE. Polly Peppers and Roland Chesters