People with lived experience of homelessness are being offered jobs in the NHS as part of a new pilot project designed to break down the barriers of getting a job.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) has become the first NHS trust in England to recruit two healthcare social workers who were previously homeless under the new Access to Employment programme.
In total, seven NHS trusts across the country are participating in the new scheme, which aims to understand the systemic and individual reasons people are turned away from work.
“Many people felt having experience of being homeless meant there were barriers to them getting a job,” said Jan Rutherford, a social worker involved in the project. “The training helped to encourage and empower attendees and make them feel like they were employable.
“The experience has brought me to tears. It’s all down to the successful individuals. They had the ability, they just hadn’t been given the opportunity and we’ve been able to provide that.”
The trust worked with Groundswell, a UK charity creating solutions to end homelessness, on a training course that looked at people’s past experience and transferable skills.