Wednesday, March 24, 2021

News: Jobs support programme helps 3,500 people in work


The Sheffield City Region (SCR's) trail blazing Working Win scheme, which has helped thousands of people find and stay in work, has helped 511 more people to stay in work.

This takes the total number of residents supported up to 3,570, helping the region’s fightback against the Coronavirus pandemic. The scheme has supported people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw with physical and mental health issues to find or stay in training and work.

Working Win ran as a trial from May 2018 to October 2020, followed by the extension which runs until March 2021. It was one of only two national pilots of its kind funded by and delivered in partnership with Central Government and NHS England.

Anji Keegan, an Advisory teacher supported by Working Win, said: "When your body won’t do what you want it to do it really knocks your confidence and self-esteem. One of the things that my work coach Paul taught me to do was not to be afraid to ask for reasonable adjustments.

"It was about Paul empowering me to advocate for myself - I’ve got the confidence to do that now and didn’t have that before Working Win.

"I was really clear with my line managers about what I need for my health condition, and that this was about me staying in work – and my managers were amazing about it.

"I’m still in a job that I love, and I am a much calmer person about my health – I’m not as frustrated with it as I was. I’m beginning to look for the things that I can do, rather than the things I can’t do."

Niall O’Reilly, Head of Work and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing Association, the organisation which runs the project, said: "Working Win is a fantastic example of partnership working between national, regional and local government and health partners. 3,570 people with health conditions have been supported to find jobs or stay in employment thanks to Working Win.

"As well as specialist employment, debt and wellbeing support for individuals, we’ve helped local employers with free training and advice. It’s a ground-breaking scheme that has made a huge difference at a difficult time."

Working Win is a crucial part of the Mayoral Combined Authority’s Renewal Action Plan to support jobs and businesses in South Yorkshire and deliver a jobs-led recovery from the pandemic.

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Education, Skills and Employability Board, said: “Staying in work is huge challenge for people with health issues. This has increased during the pandemic.

“Working Win supports people with health conditions who are at risk of redundancy, helping to stay in work. It’s helping businesses to retain great people and allowing residents with health issues to enhance their careers. I encourage all affected individuals and employers to come forward for support.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson, added: "As we build back better, it’s vital that we respond to the different needs in communities. Some people with health conditions will need more support than others to say in work or find new jobs.

“Working Win has shown just how effective support like this can be and as a result of their efforts, there are hundreds of stories of personal renewal across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. That’s what our Plan for Jobs is all about – practical support that helps people back on their feet.”

The results of the full trial will be evaluated and released in 2022.

Images: Working Win


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