Disabled people get set for work in Eastbourne

Possability People’s Community Employment Service is launching a new, National Lottery funded project in Eastbourne in January 2022 so disabled people can overcome barriers they might face to getting a job.

Providing support on each step of someone’s employment journey, ‘Get Set’ takes a long term approach, supporting participants both during their work preparation and searches and then when they are have found employment.

The Community Employment Service provides a welcoming, friendly environment and ‘safe space’. It encourages people to fulfil their potential and move forward in a way, and at a pace which is comfortable for them. We enable people to take the first step on their journey to employment, staying with them each step of the way to offer continued support to reach their goals.

Angela Graham, Community Employment Service Manager, says:

“Our approach is unique. The service has been designed and is delivered by people with a lived experience of overcoming health barriers in the workplace. We support people whose health condition impacts them so much they cannot see a way forward. Most of our participants have complex health conditions, often with additional issues in their life; they feel very far away from the job market”.

The new programme is called ‘Get Set Opening Doors’. Participants will be able to join a range of courses and have one to one support to:

  • Build a solid foundation for success, by working on issues which affect their whole life (not just employment).
  • Become more self-confident and improve self-esteem, manage anxiety and see past “I can’t”.
  • Develop employability skills, CV’s, covering letters, job applications and interview skills.
  • Learn or build on IT skills, from digital basics to digital employability.
  • Manage their health condition in and outside of work, understand reasonable adjustments and build a Wellness Action Plan to ensure work is sustainable.
  • Talk to their employer about their health condition or impairment, and how easy it can be to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Become re-engaged in their local community, overcome social isolation and have hope for their future.

Angela continued: “We work with people at the start of their personal recovery, people who are used to saying ‘I can’t – I can’t see how, I have no hope’.  Many people want to work but are afraid of failing or feel their health will be a barrier to getting and keeping a job. And for some people, the world has become too overwhelming, they are isolated and afraid”.

Lucy, who joined the Get Set project in June, said:

“The team’s continued support gave me the confidence to apply for  jobs that I might have overlooked before; they reminded me I have strong skills. I have now received two job offers within the same week! Now I will have a much more healthy relationship with work and with progressing in my career”.

Last year, the Community Employment Service supported 358 disabled people in Sussex, including 191 who found work, training or volunteering opportunities.

The service is free to attend; participants must be unemployed but do not need to be in receipt of benefits and have a long term health condition or impairment.

Get Set Opening Doors will run at The Friends Meeting House on Wish Road from Tuesday the 4 January 2022. Anyone who wants to take part can phone the team on 01273 894044 or email work@possabilitypeople.org.uk for an informal chat.

Organisations who want information on how to refer clients to the project should call Angela on 07921 453183 or email angela@possabilitypeople.org.uk

“I had been with Get Set only 8 months when I found work after three years of being on other services, waiting and with no hope. This would not have happened without the help and skill of the team. “I almost gave up looking but Possability People would not let me, and now I work part time working ten hours a week at a local clinic. Fantastic”.

Ken Lynch

Get Set participant