June 24, 2019
Finding someone a role which is meaningful to them is vital for us at New Leaf, especially if we want to keep them from returning to unemployment. Everything we do with our New Leaf participants is to get them closer to a job which is sustainable. In order for us to do this, we work closely with local employers, helping them fill their vacancies with staff who are excited to get into employment.
One organisation we work closely with is the East Cheshire NHS Trust. Elaine Bradbury, Workforce Development Lead for East Cheshire NHS Trust speaks about how working with New Leaf has been beneficial for both parties:
The working partnership between New Leaf and the NHS began in early 2017, in conjunction with South Cheshire Chambers, the Community Voluntary Service and the Cheshire Career and Engagement Hub.
East Cheshire NHS Trust has worked with a number of New Leaf clients over the last few years in several different ways. We initially met a young man at the large Macclesfield Careers Fair who was interested in working in the NHS. We had multiple conversations with him in order to find out more about his skill set and how we could find a work placement best suited for him. He joined our pre-employment programme, gained a Health and Social Care qualification, along with his Maths Level 2 and started a 6-week placement with our Receipt & Distribution Team. During this time, we worked closely with him, providing advice on application forms and interview skills and he secured a job as a porter. The transferable skills that he had gained on his placement had set him in good stead for this new role.
Support and guidance around application forms and interview skills have been a key theme for New Leaf clients. The Career Hub Co-ordinators have delivered support sessions in both Macclesfield and Crewe to assist people in their employment readiness. Support was given to a young lady who was determined to apply for healthcare assistant roles within the trust and from this, she has attended a variety of interviews to make sure she finds the perfect role for her.
We have also supported a more mature New Leaf client to become a phlebotomist, or more commonly known, someone who takes blood! This lady joined us when a local school sent some students to visit our Clinical Skills Lab so that she could have a practice at taking blood from a simulation arm. This enabled her to talk more knowledgeably at interview and to consequently gain employment with the phlebotomy team.
East Cheshire NHS Trust and the Cheshire Career & Engagement Hub have seen the benefits of partnership working – several of the volunteers at the trust have been referred by New Leaf. We hope that this way of working will continue in the future.
New Leaf is led by Torus Foundation and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund.