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Work Well

What is this project?

The Work Well project was an employment project operating in South London and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

The aim of the programme was to invest in local projects that tackled poverty and promoted social inclusion and employment, while also providing clients with tailored employment support.

The intended client group was unemployed or economically inactive people who were experiencing common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and who were living in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark.

Why is this project important?

Finding and keeping meaningful employment is important for people’s mental health and wellbeing

Employment is good for mental health, improving financial security and providing routine, confidence, a purpose within society, and opportunities for social interaction.

However, people affected by mental health problems might find it challenging to secure and sustain employment, particularly after a long period of unemployment. They are more likely to face stigma and discrimination in the job market, in recruitment processes and with employers themselves.

The aim of the Work Well project was to provide tailored employment support to people experiencing common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

How were McPin and people with lived experience of mental health problems involved in this project?

The McPin Foundation conducted an independent evaluation of the Work Well project. Our evaluation describes the project, which operated from January 2017 to March 2020.

We used a peer research methods approach. Members of the research team had experienced long-term mental health problems, long-term unemployment and of claiming unemployment benefits.

What did we find?

Work Well seemed to have a positive impact on clients. Almost every client had constructive things to say about the service, and many praised the team or individual staff who had helped them on their journey.

Some had been supported to find satisfying work, and some had been assisted to find training or volunteering. Others improved their confidence and knowledge about what the next steps on their journey would be.

The Work Well evaluation report, carried out by McPin to understand the impact and evaluate the experience of the project, has now been completed. Please find the results below.

Reports:

Where can I find more information?

If you would like more information on the project, please visit: https://work-well.org.uk/

For more information on the evaluation and any further queries about the project, get in touch with Dan Robotham on DanRobotham@mcpin.org.