Ceredigion residents Neville Morgan Thomas, Ed Goodliffe and Ian Townrow have all benefited from the help of employment and volunteering support service Workways+ through an outreach programme run by the Cardigan based mental health recovery centre, Kinora.
Kinora hosts a number of outreach programmes that helps support mental health recovery. Workways+ has been part of one of these programmes to help people improve their lives through volunteering, training, work experience and employment opportunities.
Neville, Ed and Ian have all faced challenges in their lives. Neville, aged 55 had a nervous breakdown that led to a suicide attempt. He has not been able to work for 20 years. Ed, aged 38, struggled with drug addiction for over 20 years. Ian aged 56 is autistic and has suffered from severe depression.
Funded by Workways+ with support given from Wendy Fitzpatrick, Workways+ Mentor, both Ed and Neville successfully completed a ‘safe strimmer handling’ training course and are now qualified. In addition, Workways+ helped Ed secure a paid job as a dishwasher in a local café, which he’s delighted with.
Participant Neville said, “It’s been brilliant to be able to get a qualification, it has really made me feel more confident. Workways+ has been great,” whilst participant Ed added, “The social part of the course was great and getting the qualification is an achievement. Getting out in the fresh air and helping the community is something I really enjoy. I don’t think I could have done this without the support of Workways+.”
Gary Yeomans, Kinora Centre Manager said, “Kinora has been supported by Workways + over the last year to support people to gain a range of qualifications to improve their confidence and make them ready for volunteering or employment. They have supported people through the whole process from form filling to being there on the day of the training. They have shown dedication, patience and humour in the way they have supported people.”
Kinora, Cardigan-based mental health recovery centre, offers support and advice to anyone who needs it. It’s open four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and one evening a week (Wednesday) and operates as a drop-in centre where everyone is welcome.
Ian, another Kinora participant that has received support from Workways+, wanted to help Kinora through providing First Aid support on site. Workways+ funded training for Ian to undertake a First Aid course.
Ian said, “I love attending Kinora, it’s such a friendly atmosphere here. Everyone contributes in their own way. Workways+ has been very supportive and not just in helping fund the course. I am really pleased to be able to now deliver First Aid.”
Gary Yeomans continued, “Courses completed this year include ‘safe use of strimmer’ a fully accredited qualification and a first aid course. The Workways+ team takes time to select the appropriate training provider to meet service user needs. Gaining qualifications is so important for work readiness but along with this, we have seen confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing improve as a result of achieving qualifications.
“On behalf of Kinora I would like to thank the Workways+ team for all their help and support this year. The project really does make a difference to people's lives.”
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council said, “It is great to see that Ed, Neville and Ian have been given support to help them progress and improve their lives. Workways+ is committed to taking their services into the community and their excellent work with the Cardigan based social enterprise Kinora is a great example of this. I would ask people that are interested in volunteering and employment to contact Workways+ and get the help they need.”
Workways+ is an employability project, part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, and Ceredigion County Council. Wokways+ mentors are based around the county. To find out more about the services they provide, visit www.workways.wales or get in touch with one of the team on 01545 574193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.