Category: Recruitment

Recruiting, training and supporting local people. Giving opportunities to people and skills to communities and providing long term workforce.

Link Worker Vacancies – Birmingham and Solihull

Social Prescribing Link Worker

We have rewarding opportunity for a Social Prescribing Link Worker to focus on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. If you feel you could connect to people, community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support, we would love to hear from you!

Position: Social Prescribing Link Worker

Location: Birmingham or North Solihull

Hours:Full and part time hours available

Salary: £19,000 – £19,986

Contract: Fixed term to the end of September 2021

Benefits: The provision of workplace wellbeing support and activities, flexible working and a range of family friendly policies and subsidised parking.

Closing Date: 12th July 2020

Interview Date: 15th, 16th and 17th July 2020

Social Prescribing Link Worker will be integrated into the wider multi-disciplinary team of a PCN. This is part of NHS England’s Long Term Plan, which commits to building the infrastructure for Social Prescribing in primary care.

The Role

As Social Prescribing Link Worker, you will provide one-to-one support to people who are referred to you by GPs and the wider PCN team, helping them to increase their active involvement with their local communities. They may have issues such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, as well as loneliness, isolation and low level mental health concerns which affect their health and wellbeing.

The role will build trusting relationships with people, create a shared personalised care and support plan and connect them to community groups, VCSE organisations and other services. This approach particularly helps people with long term conditions (including poor mental health), people who are lonely or isolated, or who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

About You

The Social Prescribing Link Worker will:

  • Be a good listener, have time for people and be committed to supporting local communities to care for each other.
  • Have experience of working positively with people facing complex social and emotional challenges.
  • Have a good knowledge of the area in which you’ll be based and what groups, activities and services are available there.

For the Birmingham post an ability to speak another community language, or languages, would be highly desirable and some weekend working will be required.

An interview is guaranteed to suitably qualified and experienced people with disabilities. All successful applicants will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

You may also have experience in areas such as Floating Support, Befriending, Community Family Worker, Social Worker, Community Navigator, Peer Support Worker, Welfare Support, Family Worker, Family Support Worker, Benefit, Care, Therapeutic, Therapy, Advice, Adviser, Health, Wellbeing, Social Care, Social Care Services, Health and Social Care.

Social Prescribing Link Worker Job Description and Person Specification

Application Form (please return to recruitment@gatewayfs.org)

Applications can also be requested by telephone by calling Maxine Brown on 0121 456 7820

Caring for our carers – an award-winning strategy

Last week we were very pleased to find out we’ve won a top prize for supporting our staff in caring roles.

The Carer Friendly Business Awards Birmingham are part of the Working for Carers programme by Forward Carers, an organisation developed to make a real difference to the lives of people in carer roles, and Gateway won first prize in the Working for Carers Award category.

The judges were impressed by the flexibility we offer to staff who also have caring responsibilities, including adapting our HR policies to allow for people who may need extra support.

Caring for carers

We have always prided ourselves on being a caring, supportive employer, and our employees are a diverse mix of people with a range of responsibilities outside work. Work and home are intrinsically linked, so we aim to provide a considerate environment where staff can be open about their needs, including regular meetings with line managers, plenty of frank, honest conversation, and a willingness to look at a range of solutions.

Because of this, our working and employment policies have always been flexible, but since joining the Forward Carers scheme as a Working For Carers accredited employer in January, we have reviewed and improved them even more.

We based the following changes on conversations with the carers we employ:

  • At point of employment we now directly ask if the person has caring responsibilities. If they have, we discuss and implement a plan which is then regularly reviewed.
  • Carers told us practical support is often most helpful, so we encourage staff to tell their immediate colleagues they have caring responsibilities. We have found that colleagues are keen to help, supporting them through the common peaks and troughs of caring.
  • Carers also talked about the importance of maintaining their health and wellbeing, so as well as making sure everyone has the opportunity to take part in our internal workplace wellbeing activities, we also encourage carers to be assessed and take up any offers they might be entitled to.

“Worthy winners”

Gateway’s CEO Katherine and Chair Paul with the other Carer Friendly Business Award winners

One of the judges on the Working for Carers Award panel was Councillor Mary Locke. She said: “It was clear from the award entry that Gateway Family Services recognises that carers make up a very important part of the community and they need extra support if they are to continue working, alongside their other responsibilities.

“The team have worked hard to create a working environment which is supporting their staff, also in a carer role outside of the office. The judges were also impressed at how staff are being encouraged to be friendly, open and understanding, which can be hugely beneficial for anyone who is starting to feel isolated or overwhelmed in their role as a carer.

“We thought they were all worthy winners, but Gateway Family Services stood out for all of us.”

Meet the new Health Trainers

(L-R) Tina, Sharon and Josh
(L-R) New Health Trainers Tina, Sharon and Josh
We have recently recruited three new Health Trainers, all of whom are bringing important skills from their work in other areas of Gateway.

Sharon, Tina and Josh are currently in training and will be working permanently as Health Trainers from 1st June.

Tina’s background is in sports coaching and fitness training, but more recently she’s been working as a Health Promotions Champion for Gateway, going out to GP surgeries, health centres and local events to promote the Health Trainers service. As part of her previous roles she’s already made lots of links with the community and met a lot of the people she will be working with as a Health Trainer.

Sharon comes to the Health Trainers service from our Pregnancy Outreach Workers Service (POWS), so she has an invaluable background in community work and a large network of useful contacts. Before this she worked for weight management groups Size Down and Weight Watchers.

Josh has been working with the Making Health Work team as a Health Ambassador, supporting young people to have “healthy conversations” and to make lifestyle changes, via group work and one-to-one coaching. Before this, he was at University where he gained a Psychology degree.

All three are completing a five week training programme to become Health Trainers. As well as working with NHS assessors and completing a number of RSPH qualifications (including the Level 2 Awards in Encouraging Healthy Weight and Healthy Eating, and Supporting Smoking Cessation) they will be shadowing our other Health Trainers to learn about the different ways in which they work.

Josh said, “I’m really looking forward to seeing the different styles that each Health Trainer has. This is our first opportunity to start learning from the experienced Health Trainers and to begin forging our own style of support.”

Transferable skills add value

It’s important to us at Gateway that, in whatever role someone is working, the skills they gain have a much wider value. Important talents such as empathy, an ability to quickly make connections and form meaningful relationships with people, the ability to listen and assess someone’s needs without judgement, and a knowledge of the wider health and wellbeing networks in the city are vital across all roles.

In the video, Sharon and Josh talk how their previous experience at Gateway will inform their Health Trainer work.

Health-related courses, tailored to your workforce needs

The link between employment and health has always been at the heart of Gateway’s work. Gateway was originally set up to help people into training or employment – and so to better health and wellbeing. This “gateway” into employment is what gave our organisation its name.

Gateway's Volunteer Befrienders recently completed their Employability and Personal Development Level 1 training
Gateway’s Volunteer Befrienders recently completed their Employability and Personal Development Level 1 training

Since we started nine years ago, we’ve helped countless people overcome barriers to employment by providing volunteering opportunities, trainee placements and apprenticeships.

Over the years we’ve also developed and successfully delivered numerous courses in subjects for which we have seen a demand; subjects like Employability, Personal Development, and Health and Social Care, as well as our highly successful Community Interpreting course.

More recently, because of the increased demand for training that we’ve seen, we’ve begun to offer a wider range of courses in health and care related fields.

You can see a list of courses that we offer here.

Developing relevant courses

For Gateway, providing training courses isn’t just a matter of picking suitable-looking course titles from accrediting bodies. We are constantly researching and developing our course provision based on current and projected demand. We do this by staying abreast of healthcare trends, talking to service providers, and looking in detail at health profile information, in particular from Birmingham and the wider Midlands region.

As an example: we know that the UK’s population is ageing and, as a consequence, there is more demand for information on Dementia. So we are now accredited to offer the City and Guilds Dementia qualifications, as well as the new RSPH Level 2 Awareness in Dementia. Both are recognised qualifications and appear on the QCA Framework. Interest in these qualifications doesn’t just come from people working within the healthcare industry; it also comes from family members and people working in all sorts of public-facing roles.

Health profiles for an area help us to identify immediate issues within a region, and to predict future workforce needs within those geographical areas. For instance, we can see that the West Midlands has higher rate of hospital stays for alcohol related harm, so one of the courses we are particularly recommending to organisations is the RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Alcohol Misuse.

Tailoring course content

When we deliver a course to an organisation, we work closely with them to tailor the course to the needs of their workforce. We ask for job descriptions so that we can determine the main tasks involved, and to get a feel for what the course participants do on a daily basis. Then we can see which parts of the course will be directly applicable to the role and, where possible, provide additional specialist information, based on our own knowledge and extensive local networks.

Adam Farrell is the Volunteer Development Manager at the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Wolverhampton, where we recently delivered a Level 1 Award in Health Awareness course. He says, “the course was delivered to our volunteer Health Champions who will be based in their communities spreading public health messages to their friends, neighbours and local residents. The Level 1 Award in Health Awareness has enabled our Health Champions to have a better understanding of the services available locally as well as a much more detailed knowledge on how lifestyle choices affect long term health.”

He continued, “Gateway Family Services provided a first class service at very short notice. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the course they delivered was to the highest standards. Our volunteers gained so much from the one day course and are still talking about it now! I would recommend Gateway to any organisation looking for reasonably priced, well prepared and well delivered training around health.”

For more information on any of the courses we offer, or for a chat about how we could help your organisation to provide specialist training, tailored for your workforce, call 0121 456 7820 and ask for Michelle Smitten, or email michelles@gatewayfs.org.

POWS welcome a new team member

At the start of this year, the Pregnancy Outreach Workers Service (POWS) welcomed a new member of the team on board.Chris

We don’t usually introduce new members of staff on our blog, but we thought it would be interesting to feature Chris, as this is the first time in more than three years that we’ve had a male Pregnancy Outreach Worker.

It might sound surprising, but it’s important to remember that our POWs are support workers first and foremost.

On a day-to-day basis, POWs provide advice on housing, budgeting, or the benefits system; ensure women attend appointments with hospitals, clinics or jobcentres; or help families to fill in forms, write letters, or make phonecalls.

It’s not a clinical or medical role; POWs work on a one-to-one basis with each family, providing emotional and practical support that’s tailored for their needs. Often, the fact that a woman is pregnant is really only secondary compared to the other social, practical or emotional issues she’s dealing with.

As we’ve said before, we can’t be experts in everything, however adaptable we are, but if we don’t know the answer, we are experts in finding someone who does. We have extensive networks and know what help is available and how to access it. The POWs aren’t there to do everything for the family but, instead, to support them as they engage with specialist services themselves, and to help them get to a point where they can continue independently.

And this is one of the many reasons we feel that Chris will make a great POW. As well as a strong academic background in psychology, he has a background of working in a very practical way with vulnerable people and families. And so he already has some knowledge of the systems, processes, networks and agencies that he will be supporting people to access.

He’s been here for less than a month, but Chris already has a small caseload of clients. Much of his first month at Gateway has been spent researching the UK’s immigration system, as two of the women he’s supporting are asylum seekers, so he’s already jumped in with both feet!

We spoke to Chris to find out a bit more about how he became interested in the POW service and how he’s been getting on so far.

Two Ticks: positive about people with disabilities

Gateway Family Services has recently applied for, and been accepted to, the Jobcentre Plus “Two Ticks – Positive About People with Disabilities” scheme.

Two TicksIt means we have made a public commitment to being positive about employing disabled people, and shows our existing employees that we value their contribution and will treat them fairly if they become disabled.

It also means that you’ll be seeing the Two Ticks symbol a lot more from now on – on our stationery, our website, our newsletter and any job or volunteer adverts!

Why employ people with disabilities?

Nearly seven million people of working age are disabled or have a long term health condition. Historically there has been a significant gap between the proportion of people with disabilities employed compared to non-disabled people. This is despite it being against the law to treat a person less favourably than someone else because they have a disability – whether that’s at recruitment, in relation to pay or conditions, or when selecting for redundancy.

Gateway would like to encourage and support applications for jobs from people with disabilities, to create a workforce that reflects the diverse range of people that we serve.

We’d also like to be able to retain, or support into alternative employment, any of our current employees who become disabled whilst working for us.

Our commitment

In order to achieve the Two Ticks, we have made formal commitments to the following five areas:

  1. To interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirement of the job and to consider them on their abilities. This is now included in our Shortlisting and Recruitment Policies.
  2. To discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what we can do to make sure they can develop and use their abilities. This should be included in their one to ones and appraisals.
  3. To make every effort, should an employee become disabled, to make sure they stay in employment.
  4. To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness to make these commitments work. This is now included in our mandatory equality training.
  5. To review these commitments every year, to assess what has been achieved and plan ways to improve on them – and to let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans. This will be included in our Annual Business Plan from now on.

As an organisation we have always aimed to be positive about everyone’s abilities, and – as we talked about to some extent in last week’s blog post, Fair doesn’t mean equal – to make sure that everyone is able to participate fully. By applying for – and achieving – the Two Ticks, we’re happy to say we have simply formalised many of the things we already do.

Statement on “Help To Work”

As you know from our post last week, On the first rung of the ladder, we have recently taken on two trainees via the Help to Work scheme.

Gateway is committed to getting long term unemployed people into work and to do this we look at a number of approaches including apprenticeships and traineeships (including the recent Training To Care scheme). We regularly respond to requests to take on people on work experience, as we have the ability to provide a positive and useful introduction to work. We provide a variety of services, so we feel there’s a lot of scope for the people who come to gain a range of experience.

Help To Work is just one of the things we have looked at as part of our EAST (Employment Access, Skills and Training) department’s wider work.

We are aware that Help to Work has a negative image and that not all employers view trainees in the same way that we do. We decided to explore it anyway, because our experience means that we can give people on work placements the best possible opportunity under the circumstances.

We would like to stress that the people supplied to us on placement are additional to our workforce; they do not fill an existing role. What we do is to create roles and tasks for them, hoping that it will give them the broadest possible opportunity to learn new skills and find out what sort of things suit them. Furthermore, we do not do this for any sort of financial gain. In fact, there is a small financial cost to us, as people need supervision and training.

As the previous post mentioned, we’re very pleased that our original placements, Nikki and Keiran are now in a paid apprenticeship with Gateway.

As an organisation we pride ourselves on having strong ethics. We can understand people’s distrust of the Help To Work scheme. We shared it, to an extent, but feel that our track record of helping people into work over many years means that we can provide people with a positive and supportive environment. However, we will be reviewing our involvement and, as always, considering the views of our staff and clients, including our current trainees, very carefully.

Trainee HR and Finance Assistant (for unemployed blind or partially sighted person)

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health. Gateway Family Services in partnership with RNIB’s “Extending the Reach” project are seeking a:

 

Trainee HR and Finance Support Assistant GW160

 To provide administrative support to the HR Officer and HR and Finance Administrator

 21 Hours per week (to be arranged)

 £7.65 per hour

 Contract for 50 weeks

The post will include opportunities to gain experience and skills in a range of administrative functions including HR and Finance. Candidates should have or be working to attain the NVQ 2 or equivalent in Business Administration, with experience of working in an administrative capacity and excellent IT and organisational skills. Candidates should demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate in writing or verbally. Candidates should have a commitment to personal development and be able to work flexibly.

This post is part of RNIB’s ‘Extending the Reach’ Project (EtR) part funded by the Big Lottery Fund. EtR provides valuable paid work experience to unemployed blind and partially sighted people and assists them in looking for permanent employment. With EtR, trainees are employed by partner organisations and Gateway Family Services is pleased to be partnering with RNIB to offer this post.

 

To be eligible to apply, you need to be unemployed and either blind or partially sighted.

 

Trainees will need to show a willingness to commit to further training dependent on individual need up to a maximum of one day a week. The position is a fixed term contract of 50 weeks (however opportunities to secure a post within the organisation can be explored)

 

 Closing date is 5.00pm on Monday 21st July 2014

 Interviews will be held on Monday 4th August 2014

 

Trainee HR and Finance Support Assistan JD & PS

Please email recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the reference number GW160, telephone Marisol Daley or Carol Gatehouse on 0121 456 7820.

 

Lighten Up Administrator

 

Gateway Family Services CIC is the leading provider of training and employment to the health and social care sector. Our aim is to reduce inequalities in learning, employment and health.

 

Position Title:                        Lighten Up Administrator

Salary:                                    16,200 per annum

Hours per week:                   A range of working hours will be considered

 

The role will involve providing administrative support to the Lighten Up programme including handling a large volume of incoming and outgoing calls and maintaining/updating of database systems.  Applicants must have administrative experience and a working knowledge of Microsoft Office. Experience of working within a call centre environment would be advantageous.

 

Applicants for this post must be willing to work flexible hours around the needs of the service, this may include evenings and weekends.

 

Please email Marisol Daley at recruitment@gatewayfs.org for an application pack, quoting the reference number GW159, or telephone on 0121 456 7820.

 Lighten Up JD and PS

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 30th May 2014.

Youth employment opportunities: introducing ‘Making Health Work’

This week, we have been recruiting volunteer Health Ambassadors for our new Big Lottery-funded programme, Making Health Work.

Healthy-Conversations-logoWe’re launching the project in partnership with the Foyer Federation; the idea comes from Foyer’s Healthy Conversations programme, which aims to give young people the understanding, opportunities and networks to improve the health and wellbeing of themselves, their peers and their communities.

With Making Health Work, we aim to help young people to have Healthy Conversations with a focus on work and employment.

Health and work go hand in hand

The programme aims to get young people thinking about the ways in which work impacts on health … and health impacts on work. Our new Health Ambassadors will create conversations to address the health and lifestyle issues that sometimes create barriers for young jobseekers.

Eating healthily, doing physical activity and taking care of your mental health will all give you a good grounding in preparation for employment. But there are deeper and broader issues around health and wellbeing that can affect your working life too. Things like having friends who are a positive influence, having a good social circle to provide some support, even just knowing how to access services, and having access to good food at a reasonable cost, can all affect your health and have a positive impact upon your ability to work.

In turn, work can be good for your health. It gives you a reason to leave the house each day and stay active. It helps you develop the sleeping and eating routines that your body needs. It helps you to meet people and widen your social circle.

In short, we believe that facilitating Healthy Conversations between young people can give them the skills and background to sustain employment.

Could you, or someone you know, be a Health Ambassador?

Danny Fryer, Talent Agent for Making Health Work, said “we’re looking for Health Ambassadors aged between 18 and 25 to come and work with us in these volunteer roles. The Health Ambassadors will help us to deliver the programme through one-to-one coaching sessions with other young people and conversation groups, as well as activities like Health Taster Days and Social Action Projects”.

Volunteers will be given specialist training for the Making Health Work project as well as having access to the same training and ongoing support that all Gateway volunteers receive.

The specialised training includes two days working with Youth At Risk, full training on the Healthy Conversations resource pack, and training from the Mental Health Foundation. Volunteers will learn coaching techniques and find out how to lead discussions around mental and physical health.

On Wednesday, a group of potential volunteers came to our first recruitment session and held their own conversation group. The Ambassadors will be setting goals for others, so the session provided some practical demonstrations of the sort of work they could be doing. If you think you might be interested in coming along to the next one, give us a ring on 0121 456 7820 and ask about Health Ambassadors.

Pathways to employment

Skills-EscalatorMaking Health Work is a really good addition to our Skills Escalator (right; click for full size). Once the Health Ambassadors are trained, they can go on to take up other volunteering opportunities with Gateway, such as Befriending, or supporting Pop Up Talent. And, of course, as with our other volunteer programmes, they will have the opportunity to move up and become apprentices and paraprofessionals.

The links between employment and physical and mental health are clear to us (after all, health and employment are what we do!) so we are really pleased to be leading a programme that provides pathways to employment in this way – especially one that works with younger people.

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