The Paralympic Games illustrate that when a disabled person has the right support, is valued and, importantly, listened to, they can succeed to the best of their abilities. If we put a little of this philosophy, enthusiasm and energy into supporting disabled people every day, not just every four years, all disabled people could feel that they too can achieve and make a valued contribution to society.
Recent figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters has revealed a sharp reduction in the number of jobs available to graduates, the first decline in the graduate labour market in four years. A steep decline in such a short time is highly worrying, but the issue is seemingly more complex than might first appear.
Having been selected to work in the food department (remember when Bhs sold food?) I also had to don a white paper cap of the old-fashioned nurse's variety. Weirdly we didn't have to tie our hair up under this cap, so it merely sat on top of my head, held in place by two grips. Every week I prayed that nobody I knew would come in and see me dressed like that.
Today, many areas are being drained by big cities simply because young workers can't stay with their friends and families to start their working lives. Even those with training or degrees are fighting for a handful of jobs. Under a Jeremy Corbyn government no young person will be thrown on the scrap heap.
The Government should ensure that businesses do more for us because even if we don't have the adequate training required, we can always learn new things like we normally do seven hours a day at school. The former employment minister Priti Patel believes that we should 'step away from the selfie sticks and put down Snapchat and do some work experience.' Not everyone wants to work when they are sixteen but for those who do, more needs to be done.
Our analysis shows that she needs to do this with a comprehensive plan to ensure the country's economic prosperity goes beyond rising employment. It needs better skills, affordable childcare and housing and better pay and security for those who are struggling to get by for us all to feel better off. Otherwise, the post-Brexit gloom may struggle to clear, despite the rise and rise in employment.
The day I was accepted into the Scots Guards was one of the proudest days of my life. I'd always wanted to join the army so I could follow in the family footsteps of my older brothers and felt very fortunate to be doing a job I enjoyed. It brought out the best in me and I worked harder than I ever had done before to establish myself and progress my career.
That isn't idealism. That isn't building a better nation. It's no different than building a wall to the outside world, one that we can't even build high because we have to reach over it in order to do anything. This wasn't for young people. And if anything comes out of this, I hope young people do not forget it.
Volunteering doesn't always conjure the most romantic of images. Generally it's visions of solitary trips leafleting or rattling a tin in a shopping centre. But it can and does have a massive impact on our economy and on people's wellbeing; something we at Sue Ryder know very well and want to try and celebrate this Volunteers' Week.
Whilst we would like to think that our jobs, industries and income will not obey the basic rules of change, we would be naive to assume that the existing paradigm will remain. Most of us can remember the restrictions of our first, second and even current jobs but data suggests that how we currently work, versus how we will work in the future, is moving towards a new tipping point.
This is a long-term strategy. The most obvious jobs might start to become redundant in only a few years - the taxi driver example being the most obvious - but the next generation will see a changing workplace for everyone (including lawyers!), especially with the advancement of artificial intelligence and increased interest and confidence in systems such as the blockchain.