Two of our Employment Advisors, Helen and Rachel, attended a lively event at Hope4's Hope Centre to spend the day spreading the word about the service to local people and employers in Rugby...

We had a fantastic day at Hope4's open day of their new Hope Centre, which fell on World Mental Health Day and World Homelessness Day. The event was a celebration to reveal their extended premises and promote the work they and other charities do to help the homeless, hungry and disadvantaged people in Rugby. Guests included representatives from all the organisations that helped make this happen, so the opportunity for our team to network with employers was massive. A local estate agent performed the opening ceremony and it was touching to hear his story and that he had a period of homelessness as a youngster. Window companies, plumbers, and builders all popped in to chat and review the culmination of their donated hard work. Rachel spoke to one attendee from a company called OPUS who are actively searching for employees with Autistic/Aspergers conditions, and we were able to advise a local window company about providing for their employees’ mental well-being.

We mingled with many of the people who use Hope4’s services, talking about the work they have and their plans and goals for the future, advising them about how they could get a referral to our service. For example, we spoke to the lovely Yurij who wanted part time work, and discussed with him how Hope4 provides people with an address so they can apply for jobs.

"We were able to advise a local window company about providing for their employees’ mental well-being."

There were also people attending from local support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous who hold sessions at the centre every Thursday evening. This all meant we had a great chance to find out about volunteer work for our clients and promote MHM’s services to local people and groups. We were also able to speak to the Mayor about our shared vision for working holistically with other local organisations.  

We met one amazing young lady from a group called Daventry Contact who provide furniture and often food for people in the area; she had an inspirational story about her recovery from depression through voluntary work which ultimately enabled her to do the role she now has and loves. I asked her to write me her story as it may inspire other young people to try voluntary work to change their world.

We spoke to young people from Rugby School who were really interested in what they could do to assist less advantaged people and we had an in depth conversation about being there for each other and listening skills.

There were literally hundreds of people who passed through the doors that day. We entertained them with games which led to a discussion of mental health; we had a ‘what have you done today to make you feel good’ board where we invited people to fill out a card and pop on the board; and we rewarded people for visiting us by inviting them to take a feel good card from the board and follow the tip or advice on it.

We learned a lot and ended the day with no leaflets, no voices, and very tired brains – but it was all worth it for a fantastic day and got the word out about our support to so many people!

- Helen

If you want to find out more about the employment support we offer across Coventry and Warwickshire, click here.