How “Workable” has been helping during lockdown

Audrey is a client of the Workable programme, and had been receiving support since May 2015.

Here she tells us how life has changed, but how the support she receives from Action Mental Health through the Workable programme is so vital.

” Prior to lockdown I worked three days a week as a Peer Recovery Trainer within the Northern Region Recovery College.  My role saw me co-producing and co-facilitating our Recovery College courses in community venues throughout the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.  Since lockdown, our roles have changed significantly.  We are no longer able to facilitate our courses in the community.  As a team our work life looks very different to before lockdown.  We are all doing partial working from home.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash (models are pictured)

We are not all in the office at the same time so we can effectively social distance as per government guidelines.  We have weekly conference calls where we can all be in contact at the same time.  As a team we are now looking at new ways of working to potentially be able to provide an online service for our students.  Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can move to an online service

Photo by visuals on Unsplash (models are pictured)

I really miss my work life the way it was prior to Covid-19.  I thrive when I’m working, I absolutely love my job, my colleagues and the students we come in contact with.  I’m finding it difficult having to social distance but I’m doing it as it’s so important at the minute! And hopefully if we all continue to take it seriously, it won’t be too long until we can get back to some sort of “normal”.    

Life for me is very different than my life before lockdown.  I’m usually a very sociable person who loves to spend time with family and friends.  I live by myself so have found life quite lonely since lockdown.  I can’t see the people I love and care for most but I utilise modern technology like facetime to be able to keep in contact with people.  I’m trying to stick to a routine, for example, going to bed and getting up at my usual time every day, trying to do some exercise daily, eating balanced meals, keeping to my usual work days and keeping in contact with people. I live in hope that someday soon we can go back to some normality.

Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash (model is pictured)

Despite my work life being a bit different at the minute I really appreciate the telephone contact I have with the Workable (N.I.) project.  Knowing someone is still there at the other end of the phone is really beneficial for me. I have been able to discuss fears for the future – I lack confidence at times and am worried how I will adjust to our “new normal” when that will come.  Knowing I have the support of Workable helps me when I’m struggling and I’m so grateful for that”.

Thank you to Audrey for sharing her story.

AMH is one of seven partners within the SES – Supported Employment Solutions consortium.  SES is contracted to deliver the Department for Communities Workable (NI) Programme across Northern Ireland and has brought together disability organisations to provide specialist employment supports to people with a range of disabilities and health conditions.

The SES partners include AMH and Cedar (Lead Partners), Mencap, Orchardville, NOW, RNIB and Action on Hearing Loss.

SES Aims to offer a Supported Employment approach in the delivery of programs to assist people with disabilities and health conditions to enter and stay in employment.

The Workable (NI) Programme is funded by the Department for Communities.

For more information – visit their website

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