Organisations pledge to work together for health and employment
By Sarah Wood and Mark Owen | 16th November 2023
Following the success of the employment, health, wellbeing and inequalities summit this week, organisations in the county have been talking about what it means.
Nearly 100 people were at the event at Gloucester Rugby, pledging to start working even more closely together on helping people into work.
Representatives of some of the county's organisations spoke to the editor of Punchline-Gloucester.com, Mark Owen, about the importance of working together to support people in the county into employment.
Jo Davis, senior partnership manager for DWP Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire, said: "Within DWP, we have a really large percentage of our customers declaring a health condition, who find it that bit more difficult to get into work.
"We're here to have some conversations, meet some like-minded people and see how we can work in partnership to move those people forward into employment and change their lives.
"I'd say to every employer out there - come and work with us, give these people a chance and we can support you to move those people into employment and get their lives back together."
Jason Dunsford, managing director of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, said: "Gloucestershire Gateway Trust are a stakeholder in Gloucester Services, so we have a foot in the business sector. But we're also deeply rooted in the communities of Gloucester like Matson, Robinswood, Tuffley and Podsmead - areas where we see the effects of poor employment on people and families.
"So it's really important to us to try and support this whole agenda of getting people into work and good quality work."
Morroway House is a charity hub, which hosts lots of charities in the county and helps them to work together.
Rupert Walters of Morroway House and chair of the Race and Equality Commission in Gloucester, said: "There has been lots of information sharing and some really good views that I hadn't thought about previously. The important thing is how to take this forward."
Stuart Emmerson, business director of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said: "We work with a lot of young people at Hartpury University and there are lots of way we can come together to support those young people into healthy careers and communities in the future.
"One of the things it's really highlighted is that there's a fantastic network of organisations that can come together and have the most impact with the resources available to support young people and older people into work."
Andy Lewis, director of Bespoke Mentoring, would like to see an app to help organisations and individuals in the county access the information they need.
He said: "I've got dyslexia and I'm a big visual learner. I feel that if we have an app or something where people in Gloucestershire can log on and type in 'housing support' or 'employment support', there will be information that can be easily shared and accessed. It shouldn't just be for professionals, but the clients and the mentees I work with who are struggling."
Tom Sackville, director at VIA, is new to the county. VIA is taking on the drug and alcohol abuse contract in Gloucestershire from April.
He said: "It's really good to hear about some of the challenges in Gloucestershire, but also some of the potential solutions."
Vikki Walters, strategic lead for inclusive employment, Gloucestershire County Council, who organised the event, concluded: "We need to work together as providers, commissioners and visionaries, to establish robust relationships between education, employment and health to create a life-long, seamless pathway of support for any resident regardless of their age, ability, background or status.
"We are in a pretty good place with well established relationships. Many of us already work together, but we still have silos and there are gaps in both provision and our knowledge. This is about bringing us all together to build an exceptional partnership."
Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.