Category: Recruitment

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

Digital Literacy Workers needed in south Birmingham

We’re pleased to announce that Gateway Family Services is one of three community anchor organisations leading a new Digital Literacy project in South Birmingham. Together with Northfield Community Partnership and Age UK Birmingham, we will be ensuring that older people will have access to a digital lending library – a bank of laptops which come with data enabled – and plenty of training and ongoing support.

Now, the project is looking for two Digital Literacy Workers to help deliver that support.

Northfield Community Partnership, Age UK Birmingham and Gateway worked in partnership to set up the scheme after identifying a lack of digital literacy in the constituencies of Edgbaston and Northfield. Through our work delivering the Neighbourhood Network Schemes, we have found that lots of people not only have no digital device or data, but also a lack of knowledge and no access to help.

So the aim of the project is to help people in these two south Birmingham constituencies build greater resilience to digital illiteracy, and then to use outcomes and learnings from this project to inform the wider work of the ten Neighbourhood Network Schemes across Birmingham.

Leading the project is Digital Literacy Co-ordinator Pauline Roche, who has a wealth of experience with digital literacy projects in the city. She will be joined by two Digital Literacy Workers who will help to develop and implement the scheme in Edgbaston and Northfield – and the project is recruiting for those right now.

Think you could be a Digital Literacy Worker?

If you have enthusiasm for digital literacy, enjoy helping older people to develop their skills, and would like to be instrumental in building more opportunities for digital engagement in Birmingham, there are roles available for two Digital Literacy Workers. One will be employed by Northfield Community Partnership and one by Age UK Birmingham.

To find out more about the project, contact Pauline Roche via email at pauline@northfieldcommunity.org.

To view the job and find out how to apply, go to the Age UK Birmingham website: Digital Literacy Project Support Worker(s) x 2 – (Fixed term 1 year Contract)

Family Support Worker Vacancy

We have an opportunity for a Family Support Worker to fully support the Early Help Assessment plan and delivery that responds to children, young people and their family’s needs with the objective of achieving the best family outcomes.

Position: Family Support Worker

Location: Birmingham

Hours: Flexible – full and part time considered

Salary: £20,000 per annum (pro rata)

Contract: Fixed term to end of March 2022

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

Closing Date: Sunday 12th September (midnight)

Interview Date: TBC

The Role

The Family Support Worker will work within the early help locality multi-disciplinary team to provide a timely and front line response to the needs of children, young people and their families; acting in accordance with local policies, procedures and priorities.

You will deliver evidenced based and practical interventions to positively effect change that safeguards and promotes the welfare of children and young people.

Duties and key responsibilities include:

  • Supporting families referred ensuring external agencies are drawn in to provide relevant support
  • Manage caseload of families
  • Work closely with the core partners (Children’s Trust Early Help Team, Birmingham Forward Steps, Birmingham City Council and local schools and West Midlands Police) to ensure the optimum level of support is accessed by the family
  • Develop an up to date understanding of services that are available to families
  • Assist in the development of the Edgbaston Early Help Asset Register
  • Attend meetings, representing Edgbaston Early Help as required
  • Raise awareness of grants and other assistance available to families and where necessary
  • Under the direction of the Co-ordinator promote and use the early help assessment and relevant tools to identify the needs of children, young people and their family and to lead the development of an effective multi-agency support plan
  • Via effective outreach engage with children, young people and their families and actively promote their participation in early help assessments, support plans and interventions.

About You

We are looking for an energetic communicator with excellent engagement and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with young people, parents and carers who are experiencing health, wellbeing or social care difficulties.

You will have:

  • Experience of delivering outreach or one to support work
  • Experience of supporting families and individuals with complex support needs
  • Experience of forging links and establishing relationships with partner agencies
  • Knowledge of VCSE organisations within the locality and support available for families
  • Good administration and record keeping skills
  • Good IT and Microsoft word packages (spreadsheets etc.) skills
  • The ability to use social media, ICT and digital platforms competently
  • The ability to manage time and prioritise own workload

You may also have experience in areas such as Family Support Worker, Youth Support Worker, Child Support Worker, Support Worker, Early Help Assessor, Early Help, Welfare, Young People, Family Services, Family Service, Outreach, Outreach Worker, Outreach Support, Social Services, Care, Social Care, Community Support, Community, Community Project Officer, Community Partnerships, Community Engagement.

Family Support Worker JD

Application Form GFS May 2021

Instructions for Completing the Application Form May 2021

Alternatively you can request an application form by calling Maxine Brown on 0121 456 7820 or emailing recruitment@gatewayfs.org

Community Connector Vacancy

Community Connector

Many staff working across the public sector and voluntary sector don’t know what support, or organisations are available in a neighbourhood.  We are looking for a Community Connector to change this situation, and make sure all families can connect to support, help, activities, interests as part of a range of early help support.

The role involves building working relationships for Children, Young people and Families across Community, Voluntary and Statutory Organisation (including schools and training providers, Health Providers, Business and community stakeholders within the Locality Partnership).

Position: Community Connector (Edgbaston Early Help)

Location: Birmingham, covering Edgbaston

Hours: 37 hours per week (2 full time posts available)

Salary: £20,750 per annum (rising to £21,500pa following successful completion of Probationary Period)

Contract: Fixed term until 31st March 2022

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

Closing Date: Sunday 12th September (midnight)

Interview Date: TBC

The Role

The organisation enables communities to work collaboratively and seamlessly with all the relevant statutory agencies and third sector organisations to identify early those most in need of support and enabling the most appropriate health, education, vocational and social support and interventions within a localised community setting. This forms part of its vision to apply a family centred and preventative focus in tackling need and inequalities though partnership working

The Community Connector will engage with all the many and various community and voluntary organisations in a locality, ensuring that the diversity of the city is reflected in the mapping of assets and support.

Duties and key responsibilities include:

  • Relationship building
  • Community engagement and mapping
  • Delivering training and support to professionals within locality to support understanding of the Early Help offer and support available
  • Social Prescribing and Digital Networking

About You

We are looking for a dynamic and energetic communicator with excellent engagement and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with young people, parents and carers who are experiencing health, wellbeing or social care difficulties.

You will have:

  • Experience of working in an engagement role with diverse community settings with statutory and third sector organisations
  • Experience of working with organisations that support vulnerable children, young people, families or groups
  • An understanding of information sharing, consent and confidentiality issues and risks
  • Experience and understanding of the importance of equalities, diversity and inclusion
  • An understanding of the lived experience of individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds

You may also have experience in areas such as Community Development Worker, Social Service, Social Services, Support Worker, Care Worker, Early Help, Social Work, Youth, Youth Worker, Support Service, Vulnerable Adult, Care, Care and Support, Social Care, Community Support, Community, Children, Young People, Family, Community Project Officer, Community Partnerships Manager, Community Partnerships Officer, Community Engagement Officer, Community Engagement

Community Connector Job Description

Instructions for Completing the Application Form May 2021

Application Form GFS May 2021  (please return to recruitment@gatewayfs.org)

Applications can also be requested by telephone by calling Maxine Brown on 0121 456 7820 or emailing recruitment@gatewayfs.org

Social Prescribing Link Worker Vacancy

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 and Solihull

Hours: Full and Part time hours available  

Salary: £21,500 per annum (£20,750 probation)

Contract: Fixed term to the end of March 2022 (with potential for extension beyond this date)

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

Closing Date: Ongoing

Interview Dates: TBC

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

Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach to an individual’s health and wellbeing, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Link workers also support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

You will work as a key part of the primary care network (PCN) multi-disciplinary team. Social prescribing can help PCNs to strengthen community and personal resilience and reduces health and wellbeing inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or 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.

Although not essential it would be useful if you were trained in Motivational Coaching or Behaviour Change. The ability to speak one or more of the following “community” languages – Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, Somali, Romanian or Polish would also be advantageous

The service is delivered flexibly to meet the needs of patients so some evening and weekend work may 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

Instructions for Completing the Application Form May 2021

Application Form GFS May 2021 (please return to recruitment@gatewayfs.org)

Applications can also be requested by telephone by calling Maxine Brown on 0121 456 7820 or emailing recruitment@gatewayfs.org

 

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.