Enable Wolverhampton Reflect on Employment Success

On Tuesday 28 November, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s supported employment service, Enable Wolverhampton, invited Clients, employers and social workers to an event to celebrate the success of those placed in employment since the beginning of the contract with Wolverhampton.

The day started with a brief introduction from Vicki Williams, Senior Business Development Officer at Enable Wolverhampton. Vicki spoke about the service’s “journey so far”, starting in November 2015 and growing in size of personnel and job outcomes. Vicki also talked through the process that each person goes through when they begin at Enable in order to prepare them for the world of employment.

Vicki’s presentation was followed up by a video message from Enable Wolverhampton’s Employment Champion, Rebecca Raymond-Barker, who shared her own personal experience of using Enable’s services and how working has added to her confidence. Rebecca also said that working means when she is with her friends she is able to join in conversations about work, something she hadn’t been able to do before.  Her video also included a message from her mother who was extremely thankful for the support that Rebecca had received.

Heetan, who is a client with Enable, along with Business Development Officer, Paul, gave a presentation about Enable’s Job Club and used role play to demonstrate the right and wrong things to do in an interview. This fun and informative presentation was well received by the audience who laughed out loud at their jokes and ended with appreciative applause.

One of Enable’s clients, Sunil Parmar, shared his story about how he came to Enable following a difficult year having worked in many different job roles, none of which had turned out for him. Enable found Sunil a job gardening at Wrottesley Nursing Home which he loves.

Sunil said: “I am looking to the future going forward with the company. My aim is to work full time as soon as possible. It’s really difficult to tell you how working has impacted on my wellbeing – I feel more confident, I feel more positive about things, I feel happier and I am financially better off.”

Sunil’s employer Jo Hicks, Manager at Wrottesley Nursing Home, said a few words about how great her experience of employing Sunil through Enable had been. This was followed by a presentation from John Russell, working for Midlands Metro Alliance, and Dave Pyke, Business Development Officer with Enable who talked about how having paid work had changed things in John’s life and made his future brighter. Greg Fearon, an employer from Midlands Metro Alliance, who employs two of Enable’s long-standing clients, John and Steven, spoke about the reservations he had when first meeting them but went on to say that as both individuals had proven themselves to be invaluable employees he would use Enable again in future for recruitment.

Greg said: “Having Steven and John working for us has been brilliant for everyone, we’ve had fantastic support from their mentors. It’s been great to see their confidence grow. In the future we would have no problem with engaging again with Enable, we would like to say thank you for the fantastic work that you do.”

There was also a presentation from Richard Dixon and Dave Jones from the DWP explaining the changeover to Universal Credit and how to manage permitted work. The two representatives were there to answer the audience’s questions.

Tom Denham, Head of Adult Provision for the City of Wolverhampton Council, rounded the event off by speaking about Employment is Everyone’s Business. He said: “Enable is here for people who have an interest in and want to get into work rather than just taking part in activities. We share these success stories so that people in schools, colleges and other types of support have role models that they can be inspired by. There are always difficulties when looking for employment but with Enable, people can be supported to find a way through those difficulties.”

Attendees of the event described it as “very well organised”, “welcoming”, “funny” and “interesting”.