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Bellway Backs Intern Scheme for Disabled Students

An undergraduate from Newcastle has completed an internship designed to help disabled students.

Ivo Vasilev, 31, undertook a three-month placement at the head office of residential housebuilder Bellway as part of the Change 100 scheme.

Ivo, who is studying communications and advertising at Northumbria University, has Crohn’s disease – a lifelong condition whereby parts of the digestive system become inflamed.

He spent 12 weeks with Bellway before returning to complete his third year of his degree course. He had applied for the Change 100 scheme, run by the Leonard Cheshire charity in association with progressive employers.

“I had to go through an assessment and then an interview with Leonard Cheshire to see if I was suitable and what my skills and interests are,” said Ivo, pictured above.

“Initially, I was designated an administrative role, but Bellway got in touch with me and asked if I would prefer to be with the communications and marketing team there as it matched my degree course.

“That was a great boost for me and just shows how caring and progressive they are and I jumped at the chance.”

Ivo had seen the Change 100 scheme advertised on a university website. His internship offered him real-life experience, coupled with the flexibility he needed.

“My condition means that I always have to be near to a toilet and that can be limiting,” explained Ivo.

“It also means that some days I wake up feeling a bit tired and might need an extra hour in bed to recover. At Bellway, they allowed me the flexibility to start later and finish later and that helped reduce the anxiety I felt about how my disability might impact on my work hours.”

The opportunities that Ivo, and other students and graduates with disabilities, are given through the Change 100 internship programme are important not only to the interns themselves but also to companies like Bellway which are striving to improve inclusivity across their organisation.

For more information and support regarding Crohn’s Disease, visit

For more information about Leonard Cheshire, including their Change 100 internship programme, visit



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