Hillside Clubhouse has a ‘three pronged’ approach to employment support for people with mental health problems, a high proportion of whom have severe and enduring conditions. This very personalised and holistic model approach combines dedicated information, advice and guidance (IAG) on employment and training options from an experienced employment support worker from our Mental Health Working team with participation in the Workday Programme and wellbeing support from our Recovery! Project. The latter two are crucial in supporting wellbeing, development and social inclusion and ensure much better employment and wellbeing outcomes than employment coaches working in isolation as is often the case with other service models.
Hillside members are a fully integrated and equal part of the colleague team. On the Workday Programme they run all of the core business functions of the Clubhouse alongside staff, while receiving personalised IAG, informal training and peer support. They co-produce the business operations (including retail, administration, finance, catering, maintenance and all other areas). This provides a powerful combination of up-to-date skills and experience for work both in terms of learning/relearning practical skills, but it also develops ‘soft’ skills like dependability, reliability, workplace routines, team working, colleague relationships and communication. Staff depend on members to fulfil daily business functions and this is deliberate – it fosters true co-production and gives people real purpose and roles when quite often in more traditional services they have been simply as service users with no real ownership.
The Clubhouse also believes that employment support cannot be delivered in isolation and its members will often have a wide range of practical or personal problems that can be barriers to work. The Recovery! Project provides one to one support to overcome problems and prevent crises. This includes a vast range of support, including debt, benefits, housing, and disputes, improving mental health and encouraging physical wellbeing. The project also opens up social opportunities for members, as well as reaching out to those who may be at risk of becoming unwell or disengaged.
Most jobs secured by Hillside members are mainstream and through open competition. The Clubhouse also has a range of stepped employment options within its enterprises, including a catering service offering ad hoc opportunities; a food retail outlet with part time vacancies; a transitional employment programme with external employers; and jobs on a local reablement service in partnership with the local mental health foundation trust. This personalised approach enables the Clubhouse to exceed employment outcomes against contractual targets. In a recent evaluation, 94 per cent of members polled said that the service helps them to improve life skills, 98 per cent said it helps them improve motivation and 95 per cent said it helps them keep mentally well. Hillside Clubhouse provided support to 704 people in the last business year.
We also deliver the Camden IPS Work and Wellbeing (common mental health) service in partnership with another organisation which combines employment and wellbeing support. This is based in both Camden IAPT teams and at Kentish Town Job Centre. This works to a specific model and there are eight principles to the IPS Model
which are based on rapid job search, small caseloads providing intensive support to individuals, high levels of employer engagement and workers are embedded in clinical teams. In Camden we also provide wraparound wellbeing support including support with housing issues, debt, practical problems etc.
The service is for people with mental health problems aged 18+. The service is currently free to residents of London Boroughs of Islington and Camden (to Summer 2017). Fees may apply to residents of other boroughs.