The new Streatham base of the Living Well Network Hub was visited by two Government ministers earlier this week.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, and Minister for Disabilities Mark Harper MP, visited the Hub at its new home in Streatham Job Centre Plus (JCP) to find out about this innovative new link to job opportunities for those with mental health issues
The Hub (part of the Lambeth Collaborative) brings together:
The Community Options Team – managed by Thames Reach and consisting of voluntary sector providers including Certitude, Look Ahead, Mosaic and Penrose.
Streatham Job Centre Plus staff
Psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SlaM)
· The Primary Care Support Service – a group of nurses working with Clapham Family Practice in GP surgeries.
· A peer support service hosted by Certitude.
Staff from Lambeth Council
The Secretary of State took time to talk to staff from the hub about how the service worked and how they thought it could be improved; he also met with service users and heard how their experiences using the hub had changed their lives.
Katie Ryan, Lambeth Project Manager with First Step Trust had a chance for a quick chat with the Minister, telling him about the West Norwood garage that is bringing hope and job prospects to service users.
One service user who suffered from depression gave a moving account of how Mosaic Clubhouse, (hosts of the Living Well Partnership) which is part of the network, had saved his life. He said that he felt fully supported and that staff were like a family.
Sue Field, programme director for the Provide Alliance Group, said the ministerial visit “helped us highlight the benefits of co-production – where specialist mental health services operating alongside JCP staff are working together towards a common goal of improving health and well-being and helping people to get back to, or stay in, work.”
Mike Nicholas and Karen Hooper