Partners' News: South Yorkshire jobs support helps 3,500 disabled people in work

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Partners' News: South Yorkshire jobs support helps 3,500 disabled people in work

An innovative employment support programme has helped 3,570 people with physical and mental health conditions find and stay in work in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

  • Gary Heath: “When I was in my darkest moment, Working Win understood where I was coming from and put it across to my employer.”
  • Anji Keegan: “When your body won’t do what you want it to do it knocks your confidence. My work coach taught me not to be afraid to ask for reasonable adjustments.”
  • Working Win has supported more than 3,500 people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw with health conditions and disabilities to find work or stay in employment.

Working Win provides joined-up health and jobs support to people with mental health conditions or other disabilities, and is part funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and delivered in partnership with the South Yorkshire Housing Association and NHS England.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson virtually met disabled people supported by Working Win and its staff, along with staff from South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA).

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, said:

"We understand that some people need more support than others to move into or stay in work and as we build back better, it's vital that we respond to the different needs in communities.

Working Win has shown just how effective joined-up local support 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 help people progress in their lives."

Gary Heath, an assembly line worker at Flexseal in Barnsley supported by Working Win, said:

"When I was in my darkest moment, Working Win understood where I was coming from and put it across to my employer, so that they understood more about what I was going through - I wouldn't have been able to do that.

The amount of help I got was absolutely fantastic - financially they helped me out with the council when I fell behind with my rent, they helped my wellbeing and they got me into a gym to keep my weight down.

Without the service I don't think I'd be in my employment - Mike was so fantastic with how he explained everything - he put things in simple terms which I understood more. He just made me feel so good about things.”

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, 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 a 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.

Today's visit by the Minister for Disabled People is an important opportunity to celebrate what's been achieved. Our participants have shown incredible skill and determination, often overcoming significant barriers along their career path. It's been our privilege to serve them and I'd like to thank the Minister for taking the time to hear their stories."

Further information about the Working Win scheme:

  • Working Win is one of two national Health Led Trials, and is being delivered in the Sheffield City Region combined mayoral authority (SCR). The West Midlands Combined Authority is the other area delivering this service.
  • The Health Led Trials test a modified version of the employment support model Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for people with common mental health conditions and/or physical health conditions.
  • The formal Health Led Trial in SCR Working Win started in May 2018 and ended on 31st October 2020, recruiting over 3,000 participants within Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. A post-trial service has been running since October and ends on 31 March 2021.
  • This work has been funded by the DWP since 2018.
  • Between the trial delivery and the post-trial service, Working Win has supported 3,570 people, including those who are out of work and those who joined the service because they were currently in work, but struggling with their health condition, or off sick.
  • Working Win participants are referred to support from within the health service and they do not need to be in receipt of DWP benefits to participate.
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