Marian: My Placement with Mindful Employer Leeds part 2

End of Placement

I started work as the Mindful Employer Admin Assistant on 24th January. This has been a six month placement under the Step programme, based at Workplace Leeds, and funded by the European Social Fund.
Before I started, I had not been in paid employment for a number of years, and had gone through a very difficult time, which included severe depression. I was fortunate to be referred to one of the Employment Specialists based at Workplace Leeds. He supported and encouraged me for a year. He contacted me, completely unexpectedly, to tell me that a position had come up which he thought I should apply for. Everything happened very quickly; I went through the Step assessment, completed my application, and had an interview with the Service Manager and the then Mindful Employer Coordinator, Hannah Patten, who will be known to many of you.

The job has been varied and interesting, and my confidence has greatly increased. The highlight has been working towards the Mindful Employer Conference in June, made all the more challenging by the departure of Hannah at the end of April. This meant I had to take on much of the planning and organisation of the event-a steep learning curve, but very rewarding. The Conference went well and the feedback from it was very positive. Martha Clowes, the new Mindful Employer Coordinator, started just in time for the Conference, which gave her the opportunity to introduce herself to employers and her new colleagues at Workplace Leeds and Mind. I have enjoyed working with her, and am sure she will do really well in her new role.
I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity. I have developed my skills, my mental health has improved, and I feel a lot more positive about the future. The staff at Workplace Leeds are all very friendly and supportive and   their encouragement, and understanding of mental health issues, have allowed me to thrive. I am just sorry that I can’t stay longer!