A middle aged man who has been receiving benefits for some time now has just finished the work programme. The Work Programme provides personalised support for claimants who need more help looking for and sustaining work. Service providers have freedom to decide how best to support Work Programme participants while meeting minimum standards for delivering the service. The claimant has a serious mental health condition and has a fear of leaving the house. He has a social worker from the Borough of Havering Mental Health Team that helps him on a weekly basis.

His Jobcentre adviser visited him at home for his first appointment and encouraged him to attend his next appointment accompanied by his father at Hornchurch Jobcentre. As time went on his confidence grew and his adviser introduced him to the Shaw Trust Organisation. The Shaw Trust is a not for profit organisation that exists to provide support to people who need help to become independent, economically active and to contribute to society. They have supported over 400,000 disabled or disadvantaged people to change their lives through work and greater independence.

He is now doing voluntary work on a farm one day a week and has built up the courage to travel there by himself. The Shaw Trust is so thankful for all his hard work that they supporting him to find paid employment in farming, following the required training.

This shows that the Department for Work and Pensions and their partners can work together to support those who are disadvantaged to find meaningful and sustained employment.

For more information about the great work the Shaw Trust does visit http://www.shaw-trust.org.uk/

Georgia Climpson – Communication Lead for East London.