Transforming lives

Transforming Lives

Transform the lives of disadvantaged people in the UK through digital technology.

Why this is important to us

Disabled people are some of the most disadvantaged in Britain – they’re roughly twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled adults. The internet and digital technology can be truly liberating for the most disadvantaged people in the UK. But, 20% of disabled adults have never used the internet compared to 8.4% of non-disabled adults. [1]

Of the 14 million disabled people in the UK, 7.5 million are of working age and 3.6 million of them are of out of work. [2] The disability employment gap has been stuck at 30% for 10 years. [3] Disabled people face a number of barriers that prevent them from getting into and staying in work, including employers’ attitudes, inflexible working hours and outdated HR policies.

For the 14 million disabled people in the UK, digital technology and access to the internet can be transformational – providing a voice, enabling people to live independently and unlocking access to education and work. That’s why we want to use digital technology and connectivity to help take away the barriers that prevent disabled people having the same opportunities as everyone else.

How we’re making it happen

We’ve evolved our partnership with Scope, which started in 2015, from a traditional national charity partnership to something more substantial and strategic that can ultimately drive a bigger social impact.

To make sure we drive real progress towards our goal, we have a steering committee in place for our partnership with Scope, with an independent chair, which meets twice a year. Brigitte Trafford, our Chief Corporate Affairs Officer is the executive sponsor for transforming lives.

To drive progress on our goal, we have three areas of focus:

  • Supporting 1 million disabled people with the skills and confidence to get into and stay in work by the end of 2020.Together with Scope we’ve launched a new digital employment service delivered through Scope’s channels
  • Transforming the experience for our disabled customers and employees. We have a three-year disability action plan in place and have made great progress in 2018
  • Celebrating and normalising disability. We're proud to be gold-tier sponsors of the British Paralympic Association and are using various brand activations to help shift attitudes towards disability in the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Games

In 2018 we…

  • Grew #WorkWithMe with Scope, a business-to-business community providing a platform for businesses committed to thinking and acting differently about disability in their organisation to share resources, best practice and learnings.
  • With Scope we hosted two roundtables and launched a new open access digital hub to host shared resources, latest news and helpful information
  • Launched the #WorkWithMe pledge outlining five practical steps businesses can take to become a more inclusive employer for disabled people
  • Became a strategic partner of #valuable, now called The Valuable 500, a global call to action
    for 500 c-suite leaders to put disability on their board agenda in 2019
  • Donated our logo sponsorship of Southampton Football Club to Scope for the second time
  • Used our platforms to amplify the activity of ParalympicsGB throughout the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games campaign. This included a piece of commissioned research, internal communications engagement and a social media campaign celebrating the fearless qualities of our Paralympic athletes, delivering our ambition to shift perceptions of disability and encourage the nation to be braver
  • Won Best Partnership with a National Charity’ at the 2018 Better Society Awards for our work with ScopeDevelop our Partnership with Scope

These are our performance highlights for 2018, the fourth year of our 2020 Transforming lives goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining two years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.

By 2020, we’ll have...

  • Supported 1 million disabled people with the skills and confidence they need to get into and stay in work by the end of 2020
  • Supported 250 UK and Irish businesses with the resources, advice and support they need to deliver on their Valuable 500 commitments
  • Delivered our internal disability action plan and identified more opportunities to improve the experience of disabled customers and our people
  • Used our platforms to support a shift in public attitudes towards disability as a result of the 2020 Paralympic Games

Make disability your business

Virgin Media, Scope and the Valuable 500 have teamed up to unlock the business, social and economic value of disabled people in the UK.

Together, we want to help enable a radical change in the way disability is valued by businesses. We’re making it happen by asking leading organisations to harness the economic power of disabled people by transforming their businesses to become more inclusive for disabled employees and customers.  

Of course, change starts from the top. So The Valuable 500 is a call to action for the executive boards of 500 leading businesses to commit to putting disability on the agenda at the highest level by the end of 2019.

#WorkWithMe focuses on the day-to-day changes that add up to real transformation. We’re challenging senior leaders, responsible for managing key functions in a business, to create more inclusive businesses for disabled people – improving policies, sharing insight and pooling resources for the benefit for everyone.

Why are we doing this? Because building more inclusive businesses creates a more inclusive society. By making disability everyone’s business, we open up new possibilities. And there’s no more time to waste. Please join us.


{1] Office of National Statistics, Internet users UK: 2018 Report
{2} DWP Family Resources Survey, 2016/17
{3} Identified from Scope analysis of the Labour Force Survey 2017