Employment service funding

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has received funding to work in collaboration with Steps to Work to help adults with experience of mental health problems prepare themselves to access training, voluntary work or employment.

The funding comes as part of a new multi-million pound programme, Building Better Opportunities (BBO), a collaboration between the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by some people in England.

Many members of society that experience mental health problems may need additional support to gain employment or keep their job once they become unwell.  Building upon the success of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s Employment and Vocational Services, this funding will allow the service to reach a wider population across the Black County, supporting individuals back into training or meaningful employment.

Support offered will include advice and guidance on moving towards the job market, moving on from benefits, CV writing and interview tips that aim to improve work readiness and engage people in enhancing the essential skills needed for employment.

The team will assess the capabilities of each individual and offer support that is tailor made to their vocational needs. Training will be provided to enhance employability qualifications and build the confidence of those in need.

Vicky Harris, Employment Support Manager at the Trust, said ‘It is vital that we offer support to those who need it, whether they are returning to or just starting work, or are looking at enhancing their educational or vocational attainment. Not only will it be crucial to work on the hard and practical skills, but also improving soft, social skills, whether this is just meeting new people, socialising with large groups or travelling to and from workplaces. Employment plays a big part in recovery and we want to make this process as quick and easy as possible.”

Vicky continued, “The programme will give us a great opportunity to develop and expand our current services to those in need across the Black County in Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton, making them accessible to even more people who may be in need of help and support.”

This service will be launching in the autumn.