Make Your Move is a specialist employment support service provided by MHM that provides people with all the support and guidance they need to help them find and stay in stable, paid employment. The service covers Newcastle and Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside, and Northumberland.

The Make Your Move team specialise in supporting people with physical or mental health issues and disabilities who are aged 18 or over. We work alongside people to identify their individual goals and find opportunities that fit these. Our support can include building someone’s confidence and self-esteem, guidance with CVs and job application forms, interview preparation, and more. We mostly support people in regular groups called ‘job clubs,’ but where people need more support we also offer drop-in advice sessions. People are also provided with online resources which they can access and work through in their own time at home if they cannot attend the groups. In January 2019 the first Job Club groups began in Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland and Sunderland, while the South Tyneside Job Club began on the 6th February. 

Zuzana Bubenikova, the Practice Lead at MHM overseeing this service, said: "We are delighted to be providing this service across Newcastle and Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside, and Northumberland. Having a job is generally considered to be beneficial to people's physical and mental health/well-being, but the task of looking for work is very daunting to many. As those who will benefit from the service will be genuinely motivated to look for employment, the long-term effect of the service will be far-reaching. Over the year we are aiming to help at least 480 people develop job-searching skills, and at least 145 of those people into a job that they find fulfilling and supportive." Over the past four months since it began, the service has been networking with Work Coaches across the area, attending team meetings and meeting with clients in local Job Centres.

So far the service has helped 27 people into voluntary positions, training and work experience to help them improve their skills and employability, and supported dozens more to improve their CVs, interview skills and overall confidence.

James’ story:

When James* was referred to Make Your Move he had been out of work for over 12 years due to physical and mental ill-health.  Prior to James becoming ill he had a strong employment history and work ethic, so when he could no longer work this had a negative impact on his mental health. James struggled to cope with the change from being a high-functioning employee/employer with managerial skills to being unable to provide for his family.

When we first met James he was very willing and highly skilled, but had low self-esteem.  James successfully completed all of the job club sessions, and during these he decided that he wanted to brush up on his IT skills. We arranged an assessment for James with Gateshead Adult Learners so that he could enrol onto a suitable course, and when James attended the assessment session he was thrilled to find he was more competent and skilled than he had given himself credit for. He was able to join the sessions at level 3, making him one of the more advanced learners in the group – a huge boost to his self-esteem.

During the service’s drop-in sessions we also worked with James to identify which career direction he would like to take, helping him design a new skills-based CV based on this. James quickly got invited to two interviews, receiving glowing feedback from the first, and was offered an 8-week placement with the second. James is feeling very hopeful and enthusiastic about the opportunity, which might lead to securing paid employment with the placement provider.

*The client’s name has been changed to ensure confidentiality.

To find out how to refer yourself or someone else for support, please email [email protected].

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