• Zoe Protor

National Diversity Award Nomination for Zebedee

Please click here to vote for Zebedee Management in the #NationalDiversityAwards. Voting closes 1st June.

Zebedee Management, a specialist talent agency who represent #disabledmodels and #disabledactors, have received a prestigious National Diversity Award Nomination for the work that they do to increase the representation of people with disabilities within fashion, advertising and the media.

The National Diversity Awards celebrates the excellent achievements of grass- root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.

Zebedee have recently undertaken an impact assessment which highlights why they are deserving of this award:

Zebedee is managed by Zoe Proctor, a qualified teacher, specialising in teaching performing arts to young adults with learning disabilities, and Laura Johnson, a registered social worker with 10 year experience of working with vulnerable adults. Zoe has direct experience in the industry as she has worked as a model herself for many years, and both Zoe and Laura have children who model. They recognised that disabled people were not fairly and adequately represented in the media, and there is little opportunity for them to have agency representation or secure work, and as such Zebedee was created!

Zebedee was established in the summer of 2017, and since its launch the results have been fantastic. Currently (May 2018), Zebedee has over 300 members/talent, and works directly with them and their families/carers. Zebedee members have a variety of needs ranging from physical disabilities such as wheelchair users, people with Cerebral Palsy, Amputees and people who are deaf or blind, and Learning Disabilities or additional needs, such as people with Down Syndrome, Autism or Tourettes. The age of people Zebedee work with ranges between 0 – 55. Zebedee work with people from all areas in the UK, from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities.

Since its launch, it has secured hundreds of paid work opportunities for it’s members, working with brands such as the BBC and Cbeebies, Channel 4, River Island, Marks and Spencer, Asda, Matalan, Mountain Warehouse, Getty, Boden, Mothercare, Early Learning Centre, Superdrug, HSBC, Lloyds, Landrover, Haven and many more. In addition, Zebedee have developed numerous unpaid opportunities for its members including taking part in editorial magazine shoots, appearing on national and local news and other TV programmes, attending skills development sessions, taking part in large awareness campaigns, catwalks and events, run by both Zebedee and other charitable or outside organisations such as being part of a video campaign for International Women’s day. Zebedee have also developed a community for its members by arranging social events for its members and online through its social media channels. Zebedee have a large social media following of Zebedee supporters, with their Facebook page sometimes reaching over 10000 people per post, and having 4000 followers. Members have even started their own peer led support group.

According to their impact assessment, 90% of Zebedee member respondents say that Zebedee has helped them to have fun and enjoy life, with 95% stating that they feel part of a community, and have developed positive relationships and friendships through Zebedee. In addition 82% of Zebedee members feel that Zebedee has helped them developed their skills and/or confidence? Importantly it seems that the work of Zebedee is not just impacting Zebedee members, but also wider society, with 90% believing Zebedee is raising awareness and changing attitudes for the better.

Here is a sample of what Zebedee members say:

· (My son) has gained confidence in front of others. His concentration and listening skills have increased. He enjoys being in front of the cameras, but doesn’t just do his own thing now. He can follow direction with increased understanding and he is less dependent on us (patents) As a family we are proud to be part of team Zebedee, we feel valued and very much that the team know us as a family.

· Zebedee has given me purpose and self confidence to be who I am! I feel comfortable with myself and my disability which I saw as something that held me back, but not anymore, I can see a future for myself. I LOVE TEAM ZEBEDEE!! It couldn’t be run by two better people!

Zebedee Wheelchair Model Rafi

· The experiences I’ve had from being a part of Zebedee have been life changing. They have given me not only a sense of belonging but also body empowerment and a better positive outlook on not only my looks but my opportunities in the future. I use a wheelchair and they do not see it as a problem but a part of who i am and they embrace it. Which has helped me embrace it too. It has completely changed my life for the better and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us all. Thank you.

· My son is 12yrs and has Aspergers. He was a victim to bullying and feeling worthless because of his mental disability. Becoming an easy target. He isolated himself for months and wouldn't leave the house. Had no trust in people whatsoever. Since joining Zebedee he feels apart of something. And realize he isn't alone. This has helped with his mental wellbeing so much. Last year he felt worthless and talked about taking his life. These last few months I've seen a massive change in him. Growing comfortable with who he is and knowing he is worth something. All thanks to Zebedee I see a brighter future for my son.

Please ensure that you get your vote in before 1st June…

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