Over the last decade FST’s model has been recognised at a national level as a positive employment support option for people with severe and long-term mental health conditions and other disadvantages. FST has built up a wealth of expertise in this area and has been asked to contribute to a number of national and international initiatives.
Zero Project Report 2013
FST is sited in the Zero Project Report 2013 as a model of good practice for enabling people with disabilities to access employment. FST was delighted to be invited to speak about its work at the Zero Project International Conference in Vienna, in 2013. The Zero Project is an international programme, funded by the Essl Foundation, which aims to remove the barriers which people with disabilities face by identifying and sharing good practice.
Lambeth Living Well Collaborative
FST is an active member of the LLWC – an innovative initiative which brings together service users, carers, GPs, public service commissioners and providers from the public and third sector, to identify radical new ways of delivering social care services for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.
Employment of People with Mental Health Problems and Histories of Offending Programme 2008/9 – 2010/11
FST’s CEO, Ronnie Wilson MBE, was a member of this steering group run by the Employment Programme of the Centre for Mental Health. The purpose of the group was to identify and develop new ways of promoting employment for people with mental health problems who also have a history of offending.
‘Mental Health & Work’
Published in March 2008. Produced by The Royal College of Psychiatrists for the cross-government Health, Work and Well-being programme.
The report sites FST’s SMaRT Garage Services project in Salford as an example of a positive work scheme which provides work experience and support for people with mental health problems (see Mental Health & Work Report [PDF], page 30, box 9). FST’s former Chair, Paul Lelliot, Consultant Psychiatrist, was one of the report’s authors and FST’s former joint CEO, Carole Furnivall, was a contributor.
‘On the Job’ Training Delivers Positive Results in Salford
Published in November 2008. First Step Trust.
FST commissioned Credo Community Solutions, to carry out an independent piece of research and evaluation of their SMaRT Garage Services project in Salford. The report identified the key aspects of FST’s social enterprise model and demonstrated that FST’s unique approach to learning ‘on the job’ had a positive impact on the employability of those hardest to reach groups.
Mental Health & Social Inclusion
Published in June 2004. Social Exclusion Unit, ODPM.
The report features a number of positive case studies and one of these is of an FST workforce member who successfully used an FST project to move into open employment (Mental Health and Social Exclusion report [PDF], see p16). The report also lists FST as an example of ‘an employment option’ which can benefit people with mental health problems, currently excluded from the workplace, who want to get back into employment (see p64).