These words are courtesy of David Shutts OBE, founder of charity ASTRiiD, whose life was celebrated today, a month after he lost his battle to cancer.
The ceremony itself was poignant, personal and also uplifting. Uplifting because David was an exceptional man, using his own experience of a terminal condition to effect real change.
That change was embodied in ASTRiiD, an ambitious venture developed to highlight the ‘Invisible Talent Pool’ – highly skilled people who want to work but are denied access to meaningful employment opportunities due to long term health conditions.
For David – a Royal Navy veteran decorated by the Queen – work offered more than just financial gain. It brought benefits of distraction, self-worth, self-esteem and social interaction. He felt that work was genuinely ‘the best medicine’. And so he set about developing an online portal to match employers looking for skilled labour, with prospective candidates facing a chronic health diagnosis.
We’ve been honoured to work with David to help promote the charity, and we were thrilled to see ASTRiiD named the recruitment industry’s Charity of the Year earlier in 2018. Today is a day to celebrate what David has achieved, and look at future opportunities that will see it thrive.
Professionally, we urge companies to consider how they could address the UK skills gap by tapping into the ‘Invisible Talent Pool’, with ASTRiiD’s support.
On a personal note, we’ll raise a glass to David, in tribute to how he’s demonstrated that in the very worst of circumstances, passion, commitment and steadfast belief in a project really can move mountains.