Passionate about employment & mental health/wellbeing – How did it all begin?
Following an established career in recruitment at all levels, I found myself faced with an almost impossible task of recruiting local residents of East London into corporate jobs in Canary Wharf. It was 2005. A year-long partnership with a niche East London charity brought little success. The core issue was the lack of employability skills then taught in schools and colleges. Coupled with generational unemployment resulting in no positive role models, the basic requirements of coming to work everyday, not taking a sick day over a headache etc was missing.
I devised and delivered The Real Apprentice – an employability programme to address this which over the following eight years saw over 200 people go into work – including a grandmother who had never worked! It won multiple awards including the first EEVA awards – beating 23 European countries and the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Award in 2013. I’ve worked with many charities, public sector organisations, ex-service charities and community groups. Seeing someone flourish and go into work changing their lives, giving them real choice and control is amazing.
After 12 years with my last employer, I set-up my own consultancy in December 2013 and now work with private sector organisations on devising and delivering programmes which bring them closer to their communities adding real value to both.
My second passion after getting people into employment is Mental Health and Wellbeing. I am a trained Mental Health First Aid Instructor. This is a global first aid programme for recognising and supporting mental health issues – now in 23 countries! I’m proud to not only be a Mental Health First Aid Instructor who has trained over 300 people in the Standard Adult course but also a MHFALite Instructor which delivers a ‘taster’ introduction to mental health with a signposting manual over 3 hours.
In June 2014, I stepped down as non-exec director of MHFA England’s Board after two years to focus on the bespoke programmes for my consultancy. http://www.mhfaengland.org are the governing body for MHFA in England and work closely with City Mental Health Alliance. Awareness of the benefits and added value of positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has thankfully grown substantially over recent years.
I have designed and delivered tailored mental health workshops to the private sector to meet their needs ranging from hour-long lunchtime sessions, three-hour bespoke workshops, one hour sessions for supervisors and managers in the nuclear power field as well as delivering the standard MHFA courses mentioned above.
We have no health without good mental health!
Twitter – @TheJJCLtd and @Growing_Talent