New services aim to boost work prospects

L-r Laura Moody, Managing Director, Lisa Harper, Vocational Support Worker, Lynsey Gent, Job retention Advisor and Jane Jefferson, Strategic Director, pictured at Big Ambitions, Duke Street. Picture: Marie Caley D4040MC
L-r Laura Moody, Managing Director, Lisa Harper, Vocational Support Worker, Lynsey Gent, Job retention Advisor and Jane Jefferson, Strategic Director, pictured at Big Ambitions, Duke Street. Picture: Marie Caley D4040MC
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SUPPORT for job-hunters and employees with mental health issues is available from an organisation determined to highlight the benefits of work for all.

Community interest company Big Ambitions is offering two free services for individuals and employers to help people gain and retain jobs after spotting a gap in the market for dedicated support.

A vocational support service now operating across Doncaster aims to help people access opportunities for training and development, volunteering and employment.

A job retention service has also been launched for people already in work. Advice and guidance is available to employers who want to support or recruit staff with mental health difficulties and it’s designed to complement occupational health provision.

The new initiatives form part of Big Ambitions’ work to improve people’s health and well-being and to challenge stereotypes and discrimination. Both services are funded by the Big Lottery for three years until March 2015.

A recent open afternoon at the company’s new premises on Duke Street, Doncaster, resulted in several client referrals and today it will hold an official launch event for the project at Sedum House so business people can meet the team and find out more.

Anyone who has reserved a place will hear from Big Ambitions’ directors about the range of services as well as from speakers including representatives of ACAS and Investors in People.

Big Ambitions’ strategic director Jane Jefferson said there had been a good response to the project from local employers and the launch event was almost fully booked some time in advance.

Jane and business partner Laura Moody set up the company in 2010 and, with backgrounds in human resources and mental health, joined forces to combine their knowledge and experience to meet local needs.

Jane pointed out that the support available for individuals was not determined by receipt of benefits or diagnosis which made it a very accessible and flexible service.

“Anyone with poor mental welfare can access our services and they are welcome to self-refer,” she added.

The company also provides a wide range of company training in areas such as stress and mental health awareness, workplace buddies and quality standards.