Overcoming Barriers: Finding and Sustaining Work

SEEC (Social Enterprise Employment Company) is committed to improving the quality of life, confidence and self-esteem of people with a mental and/or physical health problem, learning disability or their carers, by facilitating them to engage in paid work:

Getting into employment is difficult for everyone; knowing what to write in applications, what to say in interviews or even just staying motivated can be a struggle. All of the people we support face these same hurdles but do so with a mental health issue or disability as well.

This can create additional barriers related to confidence, stigma and ill health itself – to name a few. Our goal at SEEC is to improve the quality of life, confidence and self-esteem of people with mental health issues and disabilities by helping them engage in paid work.

For over 120 people in Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, that SEEC have helped, work has been extremely valuable. It’s helped to build self-esteem, improve finances, meet new people, fulfil goals and feel a valued member of society. All of this adds to wellbeing; it has a positive impact on, and is part of a journey towards recovery.

SEEC works in partnership with local organisations to enable people to find the right support, training or social activities for them. By working with Bridge Mental Health and Recovery College Greenwich, we can help people gain the skills and confidence required to move into employment.

Aliandra, who was supported by SEEC, said:

“[My Employment Advisor] has worked with me… with patience, competence and dedication. With her next to me, I felt as if I was arranging a complex puzzle but she was helping me to find the right pieces and put them in the right place.

Thanks to her guidance, I’ve taken her advice and I’ve started classes at Recovery College Greenwich. Now I’m seeing the ‘the strong woman’ in me winning.

I know that recovering after depression is a process and not an event. However, knowing that someone is there for me makes this process much easier.”

SEEC provides one-to-one sessions with a specialist Employment Advisor. The support we give varies depending on individual needs and goals. In the past we’ve helped with job searching, building confidence and interview practice, we also support during the early days in work.

We would love to hear from you if you would like to know more about our service or feel you may benefit from some support. Please contact SEEC on 020 8298 9677 or email: info@seectruepotential.org.uk/ website: http://www.seectruepotential.org.uk/

Another organisation in the Borough supporting people into work is The Mental Health Activity Trust, a charity to set up to help people with mental health issues find sustainable employment that is paid either with the MHA Trust or with other organisations, as well as to support them in work. It does this by offering volunteer opportunities to work in the charity and help people gain the confidence and skills they need to find employment.

CEO and Founder, Toni Hale, said: “We have a relaxed and comfortable environment where people can learn new skills and progress with the experience they already have. By volunteering, it is a two-way street, by us supporting them they are supporting us to help the charity progress.”

There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities at the charity, from research, admin, marketing, to fundraising and shop work.

Toni said: “We create jobs for people and it is a holistic process. We get to know the individual and create a role around their skills and interests.

“We support people through their working life and beyond – through a mentoring system. They can see us regularly or less, dependent on the individual, and we can spot if anything crops up which might affect their work. We also become like a close family, socialising together and holding regular fun social activities.”

The Mental Health Activity Trust are currently supporting 38 people in sustainable work. They are always looking for new volunteers. Please contact MHA Trust at: http://mhatrust.org/ Tel: 020 8298 9677.

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