Step On has shared details of how it has maintained its services and adapted to recent changes due to Coronavirus.
The team supports people who have experienced mental health difficulties and are ready to return to work or look for employment. The team of 20 work across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent with service users from Combined Healthcare and Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT) to provide support to find meaningful paid employment.
Despite a number of challenges lots of people are facing at the moment, Step On is determined to continue offering a whole service delivery for its clients in any way they can. Jasmin Sherratt has returned last month to Step On as team manager alongside Jennifer Hawkins. Jasmin will often be liaising with pathway managers in the south while Jennifer with CMHT managers in the north.
Jasmin Sherratt said: “Step On is one team across Staffordshire providing an equitable evidence based approach supporting people into work. This is known as Individual Placement and Support (IPS). In October 2019, the team were awarded ‘Exemplar Centre of Excellence’ status from the Centre for Mental Health for the delivery of their supported employment service across Staffordshire.
“Across the county, recruitment is underway to grow the service across both mental health trusts to increase access to IPS. The team has also recently recruited two employment specialists in the south, with an additional two due to start next month to cover the north of Staffordshire. Employment specialists will stay in weekly contact with Step On’s clients. Not only this, but they are currently in the process of recruiting additional peer support workers who bring lived experience of mental health challenges to the role.”
The team is working hard to support clients and offer employment guidance using video calls. It is also a crucial time for local businesses, who are keen to maintain their services, so Step On are in regular contact with employers to ensure that vital roles are filled.
Jennifer Hawkins said: “While people’s employment requirements vary a lot right now, there are lots of ways we can help to fit individual needs. Some people are currently not looking for work and we are helping them to develop their skills in the meantime, including an increased confidence in digital skills. Others are continuing in their current employment and they have benefitted from our ongoing communications.
“There are also those actively on the search for a job, and we are pleased to say that we’ve helped 10 people into new employment during this period of lockdown. We feel that this range of support we can provide is even more important now, as employment plays a key role in social inclusion.
“We are still accepting referrals, and we encourage teams to continue to refer via Lorenzo and to contact the step on email address for any queries.”
If you have any questions, please call the team on 0300 123 1535 (ext. 2641) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.