Delivered by Ingeus in Greater Manchester, Working Well (Work and Health Programme) provides tailored support to individuals with disabilities and health conditions who are seeking employment.
 
The support scheme sometimes works in partnership with other agencies to offer an encompassing service to clients who are seeking job opportunities, but are also struggling to manage a range of personal and practical issues that are having a negative impact on their lives and families.
 
Ingeus keyworker Wendy Willis has been working with 27 year-old ‘Susan’, a single mother, for nearly six months. Susan’s identity has been protected as she has experienced a difficult separation from a partner and needed safe accommodation for herself and her three children.
 
“Stockport Homes, which manages the housing stock for Stockport Council, was trying to find Susan new accommodation in another part of the borough,” explained Wendy. “She needed to move away from her current location as she was experiencing increasing levels of anti social behaviour.
 
“She wanted to work in the care sector and I helped her to update her CV. Susan was also referred to our mental health practitioner who supported her and recommended that she seek further treatment with her GP.”
 
Wendy helped Susan in her job search and she was soon offered work with a local homecare provider.
 
FINDING A SAFE SPACE
 
Ingeus colleague Jan Eddisford, with Working Well (Work and Health Programme), liaised with a housing officer at Stockport Homes and was able to find a suitable new property for Susan and her family. Since her employment gave Susan key worker status, the children’s new school accepted the transfer request and was able to provide places.
 
“There was a further problem with the planned move as Susan did not have sufficient funds to pay for a removal company,” explained Wendy. “Jan also contacted a local community group, the Stockport User Friendly Fellowship, who offered to cover Susan’s moving expenses.  The fellowship group helped iron out a few teething problems and now Susan is settling into her new home and has begun working as a care provider.”
 
Susan commented: “Everyone has been just amazing, I can’t think of any other word to describe the help and support that I have received – and it is still ongoing. Wendy is currently liaising with my employers concerning my shift patterns and I hear regularly from the Stockport Fellowship to ask if I need any further help. It was wonderful that I received this support when I really needed it and everyone is just so easy to talk to. They understood what I was going through and the problems I was facing.”
 
The Rev Dianne Scott-Fowler, Chairperson with Stockport User Friendly Fellowship, added: “We are a registered mental health and wellbeing charity that is providing practical help and support in the community. Our partnership with Working Well (Work and Health Programme) has been incredibly positive and we have the flexibility to respond very quickly to a situation. If the need is urgent, we can provide assistance within four hours.”
 
Working Well (Work and Health Programme) is an initiative commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and receives support from the European Social Fund.