Centre endorsed by Employability and Training Minister
Shaw Trust Scotland, in partnership with Forth Sector, has created a new integrated work and wellbeing site in Edinburgh, which is the first of its kind in Scotland.
The ‘Wellbeing Works’ campus, visited by Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP today, will join up the employment support delivered by Shaw Trust, through the Scottish Government’s Work First Scotland programme, with wellbeing and health support services provided by NHS Lothian, Edinburgh College and range of local and community organisations. This integrated approach operates on the principle that people in meaningful employment have better health and wellbeing than those without: download the SPICe briefing on Mental Health in Scotland for further information (opens in new tab or window)
Wellbeing Works, located in Duddingston, will offer disabled people participating in Work First Scotland access to a range of services aimed at improving their health and employment chances. This includes support to manage physical and mental health conditions, wellbeing services including exercise classes, running clubs, book groups and healthy eating workshops, in addition to tailored employability training to help participants find and sustain work. Shaw Trust Scotland is also opening the services delivered at Wellbeing Works up to the local community free of charge, as part of the charity’s commitment to improve wellbeing and tackle social isolation. Wellbeing Works will also provide a ‘Safe Spaces’ café where local mental health organisations can meet their customers for tea and coffee in a supportive and safe environment.
The campus will be hosted by Forth Sector, an Edinburgh based social enterprise which creates supported employment opportunities for disabled people and those with long term health conditions through social enterprises. Wellbeing Works was established following the successful merger of Shaw Trust and Forth Sector earlier this year.
Several other partners are in the process of signing up, alongside NHS Lothian, which will offer a range of primary and secondary care services. The Thistle Foundation, a charity which supports people in Scotland living with long-term health conditions, is planning on delivering its condition management and wellbeing support from the campus.
Austin Hardie, Executive Director for Enterprise and Operations at Shaw Trust Scotland, said:
“Wellbeing Works forms part of our wider commitment to delivering Work First Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government, helping disabled people secure meaningful long-term employment.
“The subject of health and wellbeing affects us all, no matter what our circumstances. It is therefore important we are able to offer a service anyone can use easily and without stigma. Wellbeing Works does this by integrating a range of services specifically tailored to meet the needs of the local community, set within vibrant and inclusive community facilities.”
The campus was visited by Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP. Services will start to be delivered later in the summer following the completion of further construction work.
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said:
“This unique facility is bringing together employment and wellbeing support in one place, giving the community and people who are accessing Work First Scotland services, a safe space to access a range of support.
“This kind of integration and alignment with other services is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s ambition to tackle labour market inequalities and help more people into work.”
Iain Grieve, Chief Operating Officer of Forth Sector, added:
“It’s estimated more than one in three people are affected by a mental health problem each year in Scotland. Forth Sector works with a substantial number of customers with health conditions in Edinburgh, but too many are unable to access services to address their health and employment needs simultaneously. The Wellbeing Works campus being based at Forth Sector will enable us to refer customers onto other relevant services available within the same place, therefore creating a more holistic approach.” For further details please read the BBC Scotland article In the Mind: Key facts about mental health in Scotland (opens in new tab or window)