A multi-million pound trailblazing health and employment trial was officially launched in Sheffield City Region today by Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, and Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

More than 1,000 people have already signed up to the newly-launched Working Win health-led employment trial, which aims to assess the best type of support for those who are out of work, or struggling in employment due to health problems.

The event took place at The Source, near Meadowhall, this morning.

The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Sarah Newton,said:

“Working Win is a prime example of Government coming together with local authorities to provide innovative, tailored support, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity of getting into work and experiencing the benefits it can bring.

“Sheffield is leading the way in this area and projects like this are key in helping us achieve our target of getting one million disabled people into work by 2027.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “I am pleased to welcome the Minister to Sheffield City Region and join her in launching this innovative trial.

“I know Working Win is already helping people across South Yorkshire get into, and stay in, jobs that are right for them.

“I’m also proud that we are one of just two areas in the UK to be trialling this new dedicated and personalised support, and look forward to seeing the scheme help even more employers and jobseekers alike.”

The trial is funded by the Government’s Work and Health Unit and is being delivered in partnership with local NHS partners and South Yorkshire Housing Association. Sheffield City Region is one of two sites running the research, with the other trial now live in the West Midlands.

As a randomised control trial, Working Win aims to test whether a new type of employment support is more effective than existing services. Half the people who sign up are therefore given tailored IPS (Individual Placement and Support) services, while the other half are given support from existing services. This approach aims to discover whether the new support is an improvement on what is currently available.

Over 1,000 people have already signed-up to be part of the Working Win trial, which is running across Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Retford, Worksop and surrounding areas.

Niall O’Reilly, Head of Work and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing Association and Manager of Working Win: The Health-led Employment service, said:

“A good job, with a supportive and flexible employer, can make a massive difference to our health.

More than 1,000 people across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have already referred themselves to the trial.

Every NHS Trust and 110 GPs are also signed up. We’re incredibly grateful for the backing we’ve received so far and hope to prove that this new approach to employment support can deliver the results that people in our region deserve.”

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said:

“I am so pleased that so many people are signing up to be a part of this trial. We know that being in steady employment offers so many benefits not only to a person’s physical and mental health but their entire wellbeing and this initiative is exactly the kind of thing that will help us as a region achieve our goal of ensuring everyone in South Yorkshire has the support to be healthy and live well, for longer.

“Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked and with the support offered by schemes such as this, people have an increased network of support not only from health and care services but from employers too – meaning their chances of living a more positive, fulfilling life are greatly increased – with increased confidence, control over their circumstances and self-sufficiency to live well.

“We want our region to be a healthy, supportive place where people love to live, with the opportunities and chances they need to thrive and I am proud that South Yorkshire is leading the way in so many things to improve our population’s overall wellbeing.”

It is open to participants who are aged 18 or over, who are registered with a GP in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and who have a mental and/or physical health condition that they feel is a barrier to moving into employment or remaining in their current role. The trial is voluntary and will not affect the participant’s benefits status.

People can self-refer to the trial or get referred by healthcare professionals. Employers can also join the scheme to receive tailored support in order to improve wellbeing in their workplaces.

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