Helping people find work – Jade is our NHS Hero

After a memorable start to her career with a phone call on her 16th birthday offering an apprenticeship place at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH), Jade Evans (25) has continued to make a difference within the Trust for the past nine years.

With an aim of getting straight into work from school whilst figuring out her career path, Jade was excited to start her apprenticeship within the HR and learning & development team at DWMH, after hearing about it from a family member.

She said: “I always knew I was a people person, but I didn’t really know where to start with finding a job. I couldn’t believe it when I was offered the role, and now I have spent my whole career so far at DWMH!”

Jade now works as a vocational specialist for the thrive into work team, who provide employment support for people who have a long-term health condition and/or a disability and are actively seeking work.

“I support people on a one-to-one basis, to help them find and sustain suitable paid employment. This can include CV writing, job searching, interview preparation, talking to employers on behalf of clients, and supporting them whilst in work.

“No day is the same in my role, but our clients are always at the centre of what we do. I’m really proud to be working in a team which delivers the world’s largest health employment trial!”

Jade feels a great sense of fulfilment when she helps her clients gain employment, but also when her support encourages them to overcome their personal barriers.

“My drive is instilling hope – seeing clients start to believe in themselves and being part of that journey is a feeling you can’t describe.

“It’s not a cliché when people say it changes their lives.”

The next big challenge for Jade will be studying alongside work, and eventually completing a degree.

“Hopefully that will be my next achievement!” she smiled.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and going for long walks and has also recently joined the Trust’s netball team!

Jade also loves her holidays, with Wales and Cornwall being her happy places where she has lots of special memories.

“I love going abroad too – Italy is definitely up there with my favourites, purely for the Nutella pizza!” laughed Jade.

So who is Jade’s hero?

“My parents are without a doubt my heroes. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood, and they are still my best friends now – I feel so grateful for them. But I would say that my ultimate hero was my nan. She showed me the true value of being kind, and how to laugh, always!”

Jade’s mental health message: “Your mental health is just as important as your physical health – take time for you and find your happy places. There are always people there to talk to and to listen, so reach out, you are never alone!”