A local NHS trust is offering work placements to help people with additional needs gain employment.
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is working in partnership with Bury Employment Support and Training (Bury EST), run by Bury Council. This is a supported employment service for people who find it difficult to find work, or keep a job, because of a disability or other disadvantages. The service works with people to improve their self-esteem, independent living skills and employability skills.
Since February 2017 Pennine Care has provided work placements to six customers with varying complex needs, including autism and learning disabilities. Two have gone on to secure employment with the Trust; working at Bury Living Well Centre, which is a hub for a number of health services.
One customer who has benefitted from a work placement with Pennine Care is Stephen Lavery. He said: “I am so grateful to Pennine Care for giving me the opportunity to do this placement and gain knowledge of what a working atmosphere is like. As each week passed I really started to grow in confidence doing jobs for them and I felt good knowing I could help.
“Picturing my life 12 months ago I did not think I would have got this opportunity. It just proves that there are lovely people out there willing to give me a chance and I will be forever grateful.”
Gemma Iliadis is Bury Central Township Lead for Pennine Care. She has led on this project, working in close partnership with the Trust’s Bury Central Township officer Tracy Sidebottom. Gemma said: “It has been a pleasure having the customers from Bury EST working with us. They have been a massive help and it has been really rewarding to see them grow in confidence and develop their skills.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to offer employment to two people.
“Our involvement in this initiative has enabled us to become more aware of the needs of people with autism. For me personally, it has really sparked my interest. I attended a conference organised by the Autism Consortium and have shared my learning with colleagues. We look forward to further developing our partnership with Bury EST and supporting more customers in the future.”
Trish Hilton, Bury EST Link Co-ordinator, said: “We are keen to work with employers that are able to offer work placements, or employment opportunities. Our relationship has blossomed with Pennine Care and we are thrilled that the Trust has offered so much support.
“All of our customers have fully enjoyed their experience at Pennine Care; their skills and confidence have significantly increased. Many have said they didn’t want their placement to finish.”
For more information about Pennine Care, please visit: www.penninecare.nhs.uk.
For further details about Bury EST please visit www.bury.gov.uk/buryest