Umbrella Organisations


Umbrella Networks

PurpleSpace is all about networks.

We help Disabled Employee Networks and Employee Resource Groups to network with each other – we create and facilitate conversations about purple talent across the employers’ community, in fact we’re like a communications hub.

Over the last few years we have seen a steady growth of ‘umbrella’ networks. On this page we list some of the umbrella networks we work with across the UK. These networks tend to be sector or industry specific and allow members to share industry specific best practice. Some umbrella networks are impairment specific. Some are geography specific.

Many of the ‘umbrella’ network chairs were on the PurpleSpace reference group which included 30+ network leaders from across many employee networks. In effect, the PurpleSpace reference group created the PurpleSpace hub.

So whether you are a member of an umbrella network or not we would love you to join PurpleSpace. We think the professional development opportunities we offer as well as the chance to meet and learn from leaders from other sectors and industries are unparalleled.

Find the space to think Networks. PurpleSpace.

Civil Service Disability Network

The Civil Service Disability Network (CSDN) connects different disability organisations across the Civil Service. Most of the membership consists of the chair or vice chair of these individual networks. Established in 2000 by disabled civil servants and those with an interest in disability policy in the Civil Service, the network aims to be the first port of call for advice and support about disability issues in the Civil Service and to support the recruitment and career development of disabled people within the Civil Service.

Read more about the Civil Service Disability Network here.

To contact the chair email

Disabled Police Association

The Disabled Police Association is a national body representing disability networks from Police Forces across the UK. The association seeks to ensure the fair treatment of everyone in the Police Service. At a National level they work with the Police Federation, all unions, the Association of Chief Police Officers and other Police Support organisations.

Visit the Disabled Police Association.

To contact the Disabled Police Association email Jamie Mills at

Employers Stammering Network (ESN)

The Employers Stammering Network enables employers to receive information, support and advice on how to recruit and support people who stammer.

Find out more about The Employers Stammering Network

To contact the Employers Stammering Network email Helen Carpenter at

National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN)

The National Association of Disabled Staff Networks is an umbrella network that brings together disabled staff networks and groups primarily from institutes of higher and further education i.e. universities, colleges, etc but they welcome any organisation interested in their work. NADSN runs a collective platform to share experiences and good practice, and to examine challenges and opportunities around disability and workplace equality for disabled staff and students.

Visit the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks website here.

To contact NADSN email Hamied Haroon at

NHS - Disability and Wellbeing Network (DAWN)

DAWN works in partnership with NHS England, disability networks across the NHS and other areas to create a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment that encourages respect and equality for all. Membership to DAWN is open to all NHS England staff who have a disability or long term condition (LTC) or who are interested in health and wellbeing at work and want to drive forward disability equality as an employer.

Find out more about DAWN here.

To contact DAWN email


WharfAbility is a network of networks founded in 2012 by a group of individuals involved with the disability and carer agenda within major firms in Canary Wharf. Their mission is to connect businesses and colleagues to share experiences and ideas, enabling them to increase their impact in the work place.

To contact the chair email