Hammersmith Bridge

“Work and Wellbeing in our sights in Hammersmith and Fulham”

In October 2018 we launched the new Employment and Wellbeing service, for anyone living in Hammersmith and Fulham whose life has been affected by mental ill health. We are continuing to offer intensive support and advice to people in secondary mental health and IAPT services to enable them to find and sustain paid employment and to help people who may be off work or struggling to retain their jobs and stay in work. We also offer advice & signposting, peer support and befriending services to all  adults experiencing problems with their mental health, whether they are under the care of mental health services or not.

As of the end of May we were supporting over 100 people in our Employment Services, around 70 people were using our 1:2:1 employment and wellbeing support service. In addition, over 275 people have already attended 70 workshop and activity sessions

Building up our Volunteer and Peer led Programmes

We are currently busy recruiting to the volunteer programmes for peer support and mentoring and for the befriending service.  In the last month our peer and volunteer co-ordinators, Helen and Joel,  recruited around a dozen new volunteers across both programmes and are promoting the services and benefits  more widely in order to get up to our target of thirty volunteers for each service.

In addition to existing activities like Mindfulness, Creative Writing, Open Discussions, and Read and Relax we are really looking forward to getting more regular weekly sessions going and our newly recruited peer volunteers will be working with Joel on extending the offers and activities, particularly now summer is here and there are so many things to do together. We are working with Hammersmith Libraries to run a Storytelling Circle starting this August. We’ll keep you posted on that.

Developing our Menu of Wellbeing Activities

In the last two months our Community Link Workers have helped organise several outings of learning and interest to Temple Place, The Serpentine Gallery, The Freud Museum and Fulham Palace House and Gardens.

These sessions have helped bring together people using our 1:2:1 support services, our employment support, peer services and workshops. They invariably enable people who lack the motivation or confidence to engage in these kinds of social and learning activities to do so. People say they have been able to find out more about their local histories, culture and communities and to connect with others in a relaxed and stimulating way. Some of these trips have also inspired follow- on Workshops, for instance, the visit to The Freud Museum led to an Identity and Wellbeing workshop.

We established a 12 week “Road to Recovery” programme offering some simple techniques to help people recognise their strengths and abilities, develop their communication skills and self-confidence and manage their mental health and wellbeing. 10 people completed the first course which ran between February-May 2019, and at the end of the programme participants reported that they:

  • were able to recognise the signs and triggers of stress and anxiety and take steps to avoid them
  • felt more confident and able to express themselves more effectively and positively
  • felt better able to deal with setbacks and more positive about the future.

One of the participants told us “The weekly group was the biggest assist to my health”

We are currently taking bookings for our next Road to Recovery and our Workability programmes, both starting in July. To find out more please check our website at

www.hfemploymentandwellbeing.org.uk

My Journey towards Recovery and Wellbeing: John’s story.

“I went to Richmond Fellowship because I found it difficult to manage my anxiety around other people, and expressing my views openly felt very stressful. This affected how I got on with others and left me feeling isolated and lonely.

As part of my “package of support”, I signed up to the Road to Recovery course- this gave me something to do on a regular basis and meant I could get involved in meaningful activities in the community. I was interested in learning some coping skills for stressful situations, as well as to become more confident in how I get on with others so I can build stronger relationships with people around me.

I attended all 12 sessions of the course. I was helped to think about and manage interactions with others. As the course went on I got more and more involved, asking questions and joining discussions. Often, after the sessions had finished, I would spend some 1:2:1 time to discuss difficulties that arose during sessions, especially in relation to other members of the team.

What I found most helpful was having the space to understand the interpersonal dynamics and to see how I fitted into a bigger group. I became more confident in expressing my thoughts and views in front of other people. Also I made a good friend from the course, who I am still in touch with.

Now, I feel that I have more purpose and structure to my day to day life. I manage my time better, I can prioritise things I needs to do throughout the week such as cleaning and laundry and going to appointments. This helps me to stay positive and prepared so that I go out and meet with friends, and don’t get isolated.

I am looking forward to attending more workshops and am feeling positive about the future.”

Hammersmith and Fulham’s Employment and Wellbeing Service is a Richmond Fellowship delivered service, commissioned by H&F CCG, working closely with NHS and community partners and the people who use the service.

To find out more about what we offer please contact us at:

Phone: 03300 083808

Email: hfemploymentandwellbeing@richmondfellowship.org.uk

Web: www.hfemploymentandwellbeing.org.uk

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