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Work and Health Programme: we’re getting more people into work

It’s official, our Work and Health Programme is helping even more people into work across our nine boroughs.

One of our longest running employment programmes, the Local London Work and Health Programme has built on its successes year on year to help thousands of people in the sub-region enter the world of work, sometimes for the first time in generations.

As of the end of October 2023 the programme had helped over 6,700 people into work, the majority of whom have stayed in work after getting that initial role.

Woman smiling against yellow background

Our Work and Health Programme supports people who have disabilities or long-term health conditions, are long-term unemployed, or have specific barriers to finding sustainable employment. This programme transforms the lives of some of our residents who are often furthest from the job market and hardest to reach.

Like Alex who said “It feels so amazing to be back in employment, earning money, being social and being around people and being productive has done me the world of good. In a way it’s helped me come back into society.

Read Alex’s story (below) from depression and unemployment to happily employed.

Working to help more people into work

The team at Local London have been working closely with our delivery partners at Maximus to ensure every aspect of the programme is meeting (and often exceeding) expectations. This active approach has included supporting Maximus ‘on the ground’ by introducing more site visits, observations and sample checks to ensure performance was being met and residents are receiving all the support they need. This is getting excellent results, and as we step into 2024 this work will continue.

Work and Health Programme results up to end Q3 2023. Job starts total 6730

Sarah Murray Director of Local London said “The team’s attention to detail and solution-focussed approach is making a huge difference. The improvements we are making with Maximus, and joined up working with partners means more people who need this support are getting the help they need. It’s transforming lives for literally thousands of people across our boroughs, for some breaking a lifetime or even generations of economic inactivity.”

As well as improving delivery and performance, the team have supporting Maximus to organise local community events, employment initiatives and engagement projects. Highlights from the year have included working with Maximus, Jobcentre Plus and local boroughs to organised jobs fairs where local people have been able to meet prospective employers and training partners to help them progress their employment journey.

The team have also supported our ‘No Wrong Door’ work which aims to bring together employers, employment services and people looking for work. This has included involving people aged 50+ who are looking for work in developing support to help people like them get into or return to work.

Originally funded by The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and European Social Fund (ESF), the Local London Work and Health Programme provides up to 21 months support for people who have long-term health conditions and/or disabilities or have been unemployed for 24 months or more.

We work with Maximus to help more people get into and retain good jobs, and manage the programme on behalf of our boroughs – Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Alex, below, is one of the thousands of people who have been helped by the Work and Health Programme to overcome barriers and find work they love.

Alex’s story*

Person smiling against a yellow background

“I had to leave my previous career that I loved due to my disability becoming too prominent for myself. It led me into severe depression and anxiety, as well as having to come to terms with my disability limiting what I could so in my life.

When I was referred to Maximus I was hesitant at first, but my key worker explained the programme to me a quickly became some I could trust.

She referred me to a health professional who could help me with my anxiety and depression, and he was just fantastic too! Helping me to find coping mechanisms as well as ways to process and understand my depression with regards to my disability.

I was offered multiple brilliant courses to help me retrain to take a different careers path as I couldn’t do physical manual work any longer.

My key worker took my CV and we spent time rewriting it and making it look better than it ever has. My key worker helped me discover what work I would be capable of and what transferrable skills I have, including my ability to relate, being proactive and working well within a team as well as on my own.

I think what my key worker has done for me, is help me discover myself again and who I am as a person. Not to let my disability define who I am but instead to give me the tools and understanding to let me be the person I want to be.

One day while we were applying for office jobs, my key worked informed me that Maximus had a role at its office local to me. I was anxious, but my key worked reassured me that I would be perfect for the role, so I applied. And ended up getting the job!

It feels so amazing to be back in employment, earning money, being social and being around people and being productive has done me the world of good. In a way it’s helped me come back into society.”

*Name changed.

Local London Work and Health Programme logo with partner and funder's logo: Maximus logo and Department of Work and Pensions logo.

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Further reading

  1. Previous Message for 2024 from Local London’s Chairman
  2. Next What’s new in the Local London Data Warehouse?