Happy Smiles Training CIC

Happy Smiles Training

Changemaking Organisations

Happy Smiles Training CIC is an award-winning, disabled-led social enterprise, based in Wigan. We provide training to businesses, schools and community groups to help them better understand the need for disability inclusion and to ensure their services are accessible to disabled people.

Since 2019, we have aimed to create inclusive communities and have delivered training to over 13,000 people, led by people with lived experience of disability. This means that local disabled people are also supported in gaining new skills, confidence and employment opportunities – something that is extremely rare in our Borough and further afield.

For example, 90% of our team are in long-term volunteering or employment within 12 months of being involved with us. Additionally, 100% of our team said they felt more included in society and have all seen a reduction in the number of GP and hospital visits needed since delivering our work.

From starting with nothing in 2019, we have currently supported 23 disabled people into long-term volunteering or employment. Feedback from our team includes: “Before working with Happy Smiles, I had multiple daily seizures – I have since had none” and “My disability used to be the worst part of my life, now it is the best because it allows me to create change”.

As a result of our training, organisations take action to improve the accessibility of their services. For example, a construction company created a new post to employ a local learning-disabled person and another organisation adapted the support it provides to enable disabled volunteers to participate.

We are extremely passionate about that fact that the ableist society we live in often underestimates and stigmatises disabled people and their talents. Our work ensures that disabled people are at the helm of advocating for inclusion, highlighting their employability and supporting each other on a daily basis. Without it, almost all of our team would simply be left with traditional day service provision and that is not good enough. We are very proud that, in 2023, our work has been recognised and applauded by HM The King and the Prime Minister.

“The Disability Power 100 includes the absolute game-changers when it comes to the disability conversation. To be included on this list is like winning an Oscar! We are incredibly proud to be recognised amongst disability advocates and disabled leaders who are leading the way and are so grateful for their work.”

A class of school pupils listening to members of the Happy Smiles team, with some raising their hands.

Follow Happy Smiles Training CIC

Useful links

Disability Power 100 2023 profile information has been self-submitted by the profile subject. Shaw Trust understands and respects that disability and impairment descriptors and language use varies from person to person. Shaw Trust assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or discrepancies in the content of this, or any other, profile page.

More from the Disability Power 100

Dr Shani Dhanda

Dr Shani Dhanda

Dr Shani DhandaDisability Inclusion Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and BroadcasterChair JudgeShani is a multi-award-winning disability inclusion specialist, thought leader, social entrepreneur, and accomplished broadcaster. She's driven change by establishing...

Simon Stones

Simon Stones

Simone StonesSenior Medical Writer and Patient AdvocateSimon Stones is an Award-Winning Senior Medical Writer and International Patient Advocate. In 2023, he was awarded the inaugural Rising Star Award by the International Society for Medical Publication...

Maria Grazia Zedda

Maria Grazia Zedda

Maria Grazia ZeddaSenior Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) ManagerMaria was a Top 100 Disability Influencer in 2022 and 2019 for the public sector and her work has been recognised for many years from being a disabled entrepreneur, trainer and public speaker. She...