Swinging the balance of power to positivity during the pandemic

NHS Employ-Ability is a Harlow based charity that are trying to swing the balance of power to good during the pandemic. This is our story of how we have worked with local employers to help people living with mental health illness to get into and retain work in Essex and beyond.

NHS Employ-Ability is fully funded by NHS England. We support individuals living with Mental ill health to find their way back into fully paid employment, offering in work support for both employer and employee to ensure that every one of our service users stays in their role long term.

We found lots of people had lost jobs during the pandemic, which they had been in for years, and suddenly they did not know how to go about finding a new one, and didn’t know where to turn. This is where we come in.

The service we provide is Individual Placement and Support (IPS), which means that every person has a personalised support programme and are matched individually to each role.

Therefore, employers we work with can be confident that the candidates that we put forward are right for the job, and their business. It is also a totally free service, at NHS Employ-Ability we never accept any remuneration from companies we place candidates with. It’s an ancillary service to complement and dovetail with your company’s current recruitment practices. We often speak to employers and carve out new roles that never existed, roles that they never thought someone could do. 

As a charity, we support our service users in a variety of ways, including but not limited to CV writing, interviews skills, workplace behaviours, office etiquette, communications skills, confidence, and personal issues. 

We work in the best interests of our users by mentoring, encouraging and supporting them to fulfil their potential in their working life.

Local employers with whom we are proud to have built great links include companies such as Tempest Resourcing. Caitlin McSherry, Regional Consultant for Essex and Herts, said of NHS Employ-Ability “Tempest Resourcing are working closely with Employ-Ability to empower those struggling with their Mental Health and supporting them in finding secure job positions in schools local to them. We understand how sometimes finding your way back into employment can be daunting, we are here to encourage and find their service users a job that they love! We work with schools across England supplying them with all teaching & support staff and have found working side by side with Employ-Ability to be really rewarding”.

Rianne Hoye, an IPS Specialist based in Loughton, has built an amazing partnership with Oak View School. Teacher and Upper School Lead Rose West commented, “Rianne has always worked closely with the school demonstrating her understanding of both the client and the school expectations and using this knowledge to make successful placements, most clients that have had a 2-week placement are now employed by Oak View and are valued staff members”.

These are just 2 examples of a host of forward thinking, inclusive local employers that NHS Employ-Ability are very proud to work with. Through our work, we are also seeing attitudes towards mental health change. 

Nicky says: “Employers are becoming much more aware of the needs of their current staff, and there is certainly less stigma associated with mental illness. It’s amazing how many wonderfully open conversations I’ve had recently, and how many people have been affected by mental illness”.

If you are thinking about your staffing in any sector, perhaps you need seasonal staff, then speak to NHS Employ-Ability who can help save you time and money, not to mention what this will do for your CSR, diversity and wellbeing.

Contact: Nicky Hudson, Employment Specialist: nicky.hudson@nhs.net