Nine people recovering from drug and alcohol problems have achieved health and social care qualifications thanks to an innovative scheme commissioned by NHSGGC.
At a special ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers, Andrew Robertson, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, presented the trainees with their qualification certificates.
The scheme, which provides a 38 week paid placement for trainee support workers with the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and aims to help individuals who were not only in recovery but were long-term unemployed and had multiple barriers to employment.
The programme has been extremely successful with nine trainees completing the placement, ten trainees attaining certification for Steps to Excellence training and nine trainees achieving a Level 2 SVQ in Health and Social Care.
Seven trainees have secured full-time employment within the health and social care field.
Andrew Robertson said: “I am delighted to have been asked to be part of this special ceremony.
“This is the second graduation event and I am extremely proud that this innovative scheme is helping people change their future.”
Carole Meakin, NHSGGC Business Analyst, Addictions, said: “Our volunteers have been doing some fantastic work running peer support, conversation cafes and conferences.”
They faced a strict criteria to be eligible for the courses. All had to be 12 months in recovery from alcohol and drugs, free from criminal activities during this time, and had been a volunteer for a year either in addictions or a local volunteer network.
Carole went on: “The focus for community drug teams is on recovery, and the knowledge and expertise that these volunteers have is vast.
“One of our key aims was to deliver recovery orientated training and employment with the emphasis on the person’s previous life experiences as an asset rather than an insurmountable barrier.
Eamon Docherty, Project Co-ordinator, said: “The trainees have successfully managed the transition from volunteer to employee which is fantastic experience for others to follow.”
“The trainees can share their experience with those currently involved within the recovery communities advocating "they can do this, I have done it, which will be such an inspiration to others.”
Billy Watson, Chief Executive at SAMH said: “SAMH is delighted to be involved in such an exciting and pioneering project.
“The feedback from both the trainees and our managers who are involved has been extremely positive and the success of the project clearly demonstrates how life-changing opportunities like this can be.”
Notes to Editors
To address the high percentage of addiction service users not in employment, NHSGGC embarked on an innovative project to increase employability opportunities for individuals in recovery.
One of the key tenets of the Road to Recovery is the link from treatment to volunteering to education and ultimately employment. This project has successfully fused the core elements of this to deliver recovery orientated training/employment experiences with the emphasis on the individual’s previous life experiences as an asset rather than an insurmountable barrier.
The programme has been extremely successful with 9 trainees achieving a Level 2 SVQ in Health and Social Care.
These outcomes have shown sustained recovery, increased independence, the attainment of a qualification and employment in the open labour market whilst bringing ‘lived recovery experience’ to the health and social care profession.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].