North Kent Mind and Dartford & Gravesend Job Centre Plus have been able to use a Flexible Support Fund to facilitate a pilot programme for people with mental Illness who are currently unemployed. The programme aims to enable clients to build their skills and confidence sufficiently in order to get them back into employment, volunteering or education.
We are currently nearing the end of the first ever pilot that has been running for 10 weeks. This course has included Coping With Life topics (i.e. coping with anxieties about returning to work or gaining employment, Mindfulness, Assertion skills, and How to make the best of yourself), Preparing for Work sessions (including the importance of being able to work in a team, communication skills, dealing with criticism and conflict, CV writing, job search and mock interviews) and 6 sessions of Using Writing as Therapy ‘Finding a working me’
The feedback from 15 attendees has been very positive and our outcomes have included a client gaining employment, several clients gaining interview appointments and others being placed into voluntary roles.
Due to this success it is hoped that we will obtain further funding to run more programmes throughout the year within Dartford, Gravesend and Swanley areas.