SheffieldWorking Win trial signs up 2,000 people since May

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Working Win
Susanna Jacobs

More than 2,000 people have been referred to Sheffield City Region’s Working Win health-led employment trial since it launched in May this year.

The aim of the trial is to assess the best type of support for those who are out of work, or struggling in their current job, due to a physical or mental health condition.

The trial offers Individual Placement and Support, a service that is tailored to the needs of the individual. IPS helps people to find the right role for them, and provides ongoing support within the workplace.

Research suggests the IPS method could greatly increase successful job outcomes, and workplace wellbeing, while reducing the amount of sickness and absence.

The trial has already seen more than 50 successful job outcomes, and many more people are taking steps towards new careers through training and voluntary roles.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “I’m proud that Working Win is leading the way in helping people find the right jobs, and receive the best support while they are in those jobs.

“And I would urge our businesses to take the free, individual, support that is on offer, so that we can all make South Yorkshire a place where people with physical and mental health problems are valued in the workplace.

“This is crucial not just on World Mental Health Day, but every day.”

Working Win is funded by the Government’s Work and Health Unit, and is being delivered in partnership with local NHS partners and South Yorkshire Housing Association.

Being a trial means that those who take part are randomly placed into one of two research groups. One group receive IPS and the other group are offered the existing services in their area. The results of the Working Win trial will shape the way that care and support is given to people suffering from a health condition.

Susanne Jacobs referred herself to Working Win after becoming stressed and anxious in her previous role in Health and Safety.

She said: “My stress was related to the environment I was in, and by taking positive steps to change that environment, I could take back control of my health and wellbeing. So that is what I did.”

Susanne has now re-trained and achieved something she always dreamed of; becoming a bus driver. She loves the culture of her new organisation, First Buses; the way the team support each other, and the fact that the health and safety of employees and customers is paramount.

She added: “I feel so safe in this new job. The training has been fantastic and I’ve excelled in areas that I never thought I would. This has given me a fantastic first impression of the company and the culture.”

Niall O’Reilly, Head of Work and Wellbeing at SYHA and project lead for Working Win, said: “We’re really proud of Susanne and more than 50 other people who have found new jobs or returned to work since the trial started in May.

“We’re passionate about the strengths-based and voluntary approach to employment support that Working Win is testing.

“If you know anyone who might benefit – or any companies who’d like free training and advice to improve workplace wellbeing – please encourage them to visit www.workingwin.com.”

Alongside the help offered to individuals, Working Win also provides free training to businesses to help them support their employees and create more inclusive workplace environments. Organisations that have already taken part report increased workplace productivity and morale. An open employer learning event is taking place on the 15 November at the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham.

The trial is open to participants who are aged 18 or over, who are registered with a GP in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and who have a mental and/or physical health condition that they feel is a barrier to moving into employment or remaining in their current role. The trial is voluntary and will not affect the participant’s benefits status.

People can self-refer to the trial or get referred by healthcare professionals. Employers can also join the scheme to receive tailored support to improve wellbeing in their workplaces.