A specialist service which supports people who have received care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to find new and fulfilling employment is celebrating success after helping 125 people back into work in less than 18 months.
The Suffolk IPS Employment Service sees 10 employment specialists work within NSFT’s community teams to help people set career goals, build their confidence and get tips on effective job seeking. The team also provide CV and interview support, employer engagement and in-work support, as well as signposting for benefits advice.
Louise Rose, who lives in west Suffolk, was the 100th person to be helped into work by the service and described the support she has received as “brilliant.”
The 52-year-old nurse went through some major life events in 2019, including having to leave her job, which brought on anxiety and depression. But with support from NSFT and the Suffolk IPS Employment Service, she is now feeling much better and is working at a major vaccination hub administering COVID-19 jabs.
“At one point I was so unwell that I thought I was going to have to give up my career, but I had some brilliant support from NSFT and started to feel like things were looking up,” said Louise.
“When the time was right they put me in touch with Suffolk IPS Employment Service. Everyone I worked with there was lovely and helped me with my CV, built my confidence and found opportunities for me to apply for. They also put me in touch with other services who could support me and helped me successfully apply for grants to help with accommodation.
“Work has always been such a big part of my life so I was delighted when I was offered the role at the vaccination centre. I’m working with a fantastic team and there is great support in place. As I’m working on vaccinations, I’m lucky enough to be seeing the happy side of COVID-19.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team and hope that my story will show other people suffering with their mental health that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sharif Sharif Al-ani, Employment Services Team Leader, said: “We are delighted that our service has now helped 125 people to find high quality, meaningful employment, which will build their confidence and support their mental health in the longer term.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with NSFT’s teams so that we can help even more people in the future.”
The service launched in October 2019 and is funded by NHS England. It is delivered by Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) and Employ-Ability, which is a specialist employment support charity working with people experiencing mental health problems.