A free Portsmouth City Council service has been launched in Portsmouth and surrounding areas to help people rebuild their lives through employment after recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.
re:work is based on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment, which research has shown is effective in helping people back into sustained work as part of their recovery.
The new service, funded for three years by the Department for Work and Pensions and backed by the Department of Health and Social Care, has been established to take referrals from Hampshire NHS Inclusion teams at Fareham, Gosport and Havant and from the Society of St James in Portsmouth.
The health teams will refer to re:work people who have shown the courage and commitment to go through recovery treatment programmes to recover from their addictions and who now want to get a job.
The re:work team will work with employers and clients to set up employment opportunities across the south Hampshire area. Candidates are matched with local jobs vacancies based on their previous skills and training.
re:work team leader Stephen Hogan said the new project was focused on building sustainable employment opportunities for people – a key part of the council’s regeneration programme for the region.
He said: “We want to reach out to employers to work with in partnership. Clients we work with and support will come from a variety of previous employment backgrounds and now want to move forward into work as part of their personal rebuilding and recovery journeys.
“Our clients will have shown commitment and motivation to change their lives for the better – qualities we feel employers are looking for. Reporting back to government, we will celebrate success and highlight employers who have worked with us to help clients change their lives.”
re:work client Steven Neville worked in the hospitality sector in the Portsmouth area until 2014, when an alcohol problem led to a relationship breakdown, the loss of his job and him becoming homeless and living on the streets for six months. Steven showed the motivation and determination to recover, engaging with NHS support services and becoming a dedicated volunteer for campaigning charities.
Steven said: “I’ve always been a positive person, but somehow over the years I had lost confidence over how to get back to work. Then re:work came along.
“They created a C.V. for me and set up two job interviews for me. Although I didn’t get those jobs, I still found the experience of preparing for job interviews and going to them very positive and exciting. They were good experiences.
“re-work said to keep going – they arranged a third interview for me and I started the new job within a few days of the interview. It’s great. I just enjoy it. It’s not just the extra money, although that helps me do more stuff – it’s given me a new incentive; my confidence and self-esteem has moved forward and I do feel more positive about the future.”
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, at Portsmouth City Council said: “I’m delighted that this government funded programme will enable motivated local people to be supported back into employment. It also provides a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with local employers to source suitable candidates for vacancies.”
For further information on re:work, contact IPS@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
For further information on employment and skills services at Portsmouth City Council, visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/employment-and-skills