I started my 6 month placement on 24th January; it came about very suddenly when my Employment Support worker, Mick, suggested that I apply for it… and I am so glad that I did!
My role is administrative assistant to Hannah Patten, the Mindful Employer Coordinator, based at Delacey House. My first month has been varied and very interesting. I have accompanied Hannah on several visits to employers where she explains her role and gives advice on the wide range of support available to those wanting to commit to becoming Mindful Employers.
I attended a Mental Health Awareness day at Clarence House, which was very enjoyable and thought-provoking. I also attended the “Mind Induction” and the “WOM” at Inkwell. All of these events gave me the opportunity to put names to faces and to learn more about the organisation as a whole. Everyone has been very friendly and supportive.
Back in the office, Hannah has been patiently helping me to bring my IT skills up to speed-I took early retirement from the Civil Service (DWP “front-line”!) in 2007 after 30 years -my computer skills had got a bit rusty!
March is set to be a very busy month, preparing for the Mindful Employer Network event. A major task will be planning for the Employer Conference in June.
I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity after not being in paid employment for so long. I have struggled with mental health issues during that time but know that being back in productive work and mixing with colleagues is the best therapy I could have hoped for!