South West Work Programme continuing to improve lives
Prospects provides government flagship programmes designed to help people find and sustain employment, including the Work Programme in the South West.
Peter*, a 42 year old man with previous experience as a factory worker and labourer, had been out of work for five years due to depression, anxiety and a medical problem with his back which prevented him from working.
When he joined the Work Programme in 2013, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but found his adviser insightful in many ways. “She was very compassionate regarding my prolapsed disc and suicidal thoughts. She suggested that I see a specialist and sort it out, with her encouragement I managed to get on the list for back surgery.”
After assessment his adviser referred him to the ASCENT programme and recommended he look for voluntary work.
The ASCENT programme, developed by Prospects, offers an innovative mix of holistic interventions which challenge behaviour and identify areas for action, steering individuals into work and providing continuous support once in a job.
Peter attended the ASCENT Programme and began voluntary work where he learnt new skills. After following his adviser’s suggestions, he had a clearer idea of jobs he would like and how to apply for them after his surgery. Peter said: “I started a course at Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, Mentoring and Social Care, to help me find a job in the future. I would love to do this kind of work and am sure I’ll be able to find a job in it when I’ve recovered from my back surgery.”
Peter even credits the Work Programme with saving his life, helping him through his downward spiral and improving his confidence. He explained: “I was often told by my adviser ‘never give up’; I needed this encouragement a great deal.”
*Name has been changed