Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s state of the art mental health hospital in Blackpool has recently been awarded the Chance2Shine Employer Award from Blackpool Council. The award was given to The Harbour in recognition of the support and opportunities that have been offered to unemployed Blackpool residents and to say a big thank you for supporting people to gain employability skills through Chance2Shine placements.
The Trust began working alongside the Council as a pilot in February 2016 and has continued to support the programme for the last two years. The Chance2Shine programme allows participants to choose an area of work they wish to be placed in which matches their longer term career aspirations, and for 16 hours a week for 4 weeks they work alongside the relevant team, gaining valuable on the job experience, new skills and improving their confidence levels to help them back into employment. In the last two years, the Trusts involvement in the programme has provided10 administration and 8 Health and Wellbeing Worker placement. opportunities across occupational therapy, health and wellbeing and reception team areas.
Lynne Robinson, Administration Manager at The Harbour said:
“We are so pleased to have received the award and to have been recognised for our commitment to providing job opportunities for all and especially those who are struggling to seek employment within our local community. We first took part in the scheme as part of a pilot and following its success decided to keep it running. Since getting involved in the programme back in February 2016 we have seen around 10 people take up placements on the reception desk.
“The programme aims to support people despite their background and we are really proud to be proactively playing our part in a scheme which provides employment opportunities for all. We are so proud to be helping people in Blackpool to gain the skills and confidence that is needed for them to seek employment in the future!”
Susanne Currey, Occupational Therapist Clinical Specialist at The Harbour said:
“The adult Occupational Therapy Team are delighted to have been included in the award to the Harbour for the partnership working with Blackpool Council and without the support of all the staff within the team this opportunity could not have happened.
The adult Occupational Therapy Team started to support Aimi and the Council with Chance2shine about 2 years ago to enable individuals to access work experience in their chosen area of interest. It has been a great success and some of the individuals we have supported have gained paid employment, have come back to volunteer, or have gone on to work with the trusts bank as health care assistant’s or in private care organisations.
From an occupational therapy perspective, it has allowed the volunteers to develop their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence to make the first steps back into employment. One volunteer commented that their day was now filled with more productive roles and enhanced their current daily structure and routine.
We all continue to look forward to working with the council in the forthcoming months to give more people the opportunities and to develop their experience’s to be able to find meaningful employment for their futures”.
Aimi O’Donnell, Chance2Shine Work Placement Co-ordinator at Blackpool Council said:
“I have been working with staff and managers at the Harbour Hospital on Preston New Road since 2015 to support its successful implementation. Placement areas have included reception, general administration, health and wellbeing and also with the Trusts catering and cleaning contractor OCS.
“The feedback from both the participants and managers has been excellent. This is a superb opportunity for everyone concerned to help improve people’s aspirations; in turn, improving our local economy and helping break down barriers to paid work, providing better prospects and a higher calibre of job ready applicant.”
Blackpool Council’s Chance2Shine programme aims to make it easier for employers to hire unemployed people who have been out of work long-term, and give them their first significant step back into work after a period of unemployment.