An innovative employment trial now has 4,000 people signed up to receive support to find or stay in work whilst living with a health condition.
Launched in May 2018, Working Win is a health-led employment trial testing a new type of support for people struggling to find or stay in work due to health problems. Running across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, Working Win is helping thousands of people with physical and mental health conditions access employment support.
Working Win supports people like 44-year-old Davydd. A joiner and carpenter by trade, Davydd was injured in a serious accident at work and soon realised he has a decision to make. He joined Working Win in 2018.
Davydd said: “I should start by letting you know that I don’t live in the past. Whilst my accident was horrific, and I have to deal with the long-term effects from it every day, I’m not going to let it get me down, and I’m certainly not going to let it stop me doing what I’m good at.
“When I first learnt that my insurance would no longer cover me on construction sites because of the health condition I’ve been left with, I had a big decision to make about what the rest of my life was going to look like.”
Inspired by his daughter, Davydd decided to pursue a career in Massage Therapy and Reflexology, an option which was manageable with his health condition but still allowed him to work with his hands. He now has plans to gain further qualifications and start his own business.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Working Win has helped 4,000 people across our region access employment support, with that number expected to rise in the last months of the trial.
“As one of just two trials of its kind across the UK, Working Win has helped thousands of people in our region access the support they need to continue working with a health condition, or gain fulfilling employment.
“We are already hearing success stories from both employees and employers, who are seeing the positive impact of Working Win in the workplace. With just a few months left to sign up, I hope more people take this opportunity to take part in this new trial and find support into employment.”
The trial has been commissioned by Sheffield City Region with funding from NHS England. South Yorkshire Housing Association are responsible for delivering the support to those who volunteer to take part.
Niall O’Reilly, Head of Work and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing Association said: “it’s fantastic news that more than 4,000 people have signed up to Working Win. We'd like to say a big thank you to our NHS colleagues and all our participants. With just over 100 days until referrals close, we'd ask anyone who is looking for work or struggling at work with a health condition, to visit workingwin.com or call 0114 2900 218 right away and book an appointment”
Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System said: “Our ambition is to improve the life chances of our population by working together with our many partners in the region and all our NHS organisations across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have been supporting the Working Win trial.
“We know that one of the things that helps people maintain good mental and physical health is stable employment and it is fantastic that over 4000 people have been helped with employment support as part of this trial.”
Working Win is a randomised controlled trial which splits participants into two groups. Half receive a new type of one-to-one support called Individual Placement and Support, whilst others are placed in a control group and directed to existing support services.
Working Win is open to people aged 18 and over, who are registered with a GP in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and who have a mental and/or physical health condition that they feel is a barrier to moving into employment or remaining in their current role. The trial is voluntary and will not affect the participant’s benefits status.
To find out more about the Working Win trial, including details on how to get involved, visit workingwin.com or search Working Win on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Here’s Davydd’s story in full:
Forty-four year old Davydd is a Joiner and Carpenter by trade. He had always enjoyed steady employment, up until two years ago, when he had a serious accident at work and his life changed dramatically.
Not one to wallow; Davydd is infectiously upbeat. His journey to a new career makes for an inspirational read and is a testament to his strength and determination. Here, Davydd shares his story with us.
“I should start by letting you know that I don’t live in the past. Whilst my accident was horrific, and I have to deal with the long-term effects from it every day, I’m not going to let it get me down, and I’m certainly not going to let it stop me doing what I’m good at.
“When I first learnt that my insurance would no longer cover me on construction sites because of the health condition I’ve been left with, I had a big decision to make about what the rest of my life was going to look like.
“I’ve always been good with my hands. I suppose that is why I worked with wood for so many years, so I think I knew right from the start that this was the foundation that I needed to build on.
“It was my daughter that first gave me the idea to go down the Massage Therapy and Reflexology route. I was rubbing her shoulders and she just turned to me and said ‘Dad, you are really good at that, you should do it as a job.’ And I thought - why not! I get to use my hands. I get to meet people. I get to heal people. It sounded perfect.
“I’m a born optimist, so once I have my mind set on something, I’m pretty good at believing it will happen and making it happen. I passed my Level 2 certificate in Massage Therapy this summer, and I’m on my way to achieving my Level 3. As soon as I have this, I can work for myself. I’m an ambitious person but since the accident I’ve had to learn to listen to my body as well as my drive and working for myself will mean that I have complete control over my environment and my wellbeing. It ticks all of the boxes for me.”
Davydd is continuing with his rehabilitation programme whilst driving his future forward with a new-found passion for a career in therapy. With a nomination for ‘student of the year’ already firmly under his belt, there really doesn't seem like anything is going to stand in his way
Davydd signed up to Working Win in 2018. Supported by NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department for Work and Pensions; Working Win is a free trial testing a new type of support for people with mental or physical health conditions that are affecting their work or their ability to find a job. If you live in South Yorkshire or Bassetlaw, you can learn more and refer yourself to the trial here. See more stories from people signed up to Working Win on our website.