Unemployed veterans being treated for health conditions who live on the Wirral can now benefit from employment support thanks to a new service available at St. Catherine’s Hospital run by The Poppy Factory.
(Photo: Chris Judson – CWP Team Manager, Lynne Evans – Wirral Employment Consultant, Helen Jones – CWP Team Manager)
Veterans who go for treatment at The Stein Centre in Birkenhead can now also speak to Lynne Evans, the Wirral Employment Consultant, about career planning, training opportunities, CV writing, and application advice.
Lynne will be using her extensive experience of working on employment projects including Shaw Trust, Gingerbread and Merseyside Youth Association, as The Poppy Factory’s newest Employment Consultant.
Lynne said: “All people want financial stability and a sense of purpose from their job. For many ex-Forces personnel, knowing how to go about job searching and CV writing in civvy street can be tough. That’s why The Poppy Factory’s employment service which I provide will help veterans transition into civilian employment easier.”
Supporting the project, local MP for Birkenhead, Frank Field, said: “The launch of The Poppy Factory’s employability service at St Catherine’s Hospital is good news for the many veterans in our community who are living with health conditions and want to get back into work.
“The level of regeneration and redevelopment happening in our area will bring with it many new opportunities for employment, and it is vital that those opportunities are also open to those who have served in our Armed Forces. Local knowledge and connections are key, and The Poppy Factory has the local expertise needed to help our veterans unlock their potential and find new purpose through employment.”
The Poppy Factory’s award-winning Getting You Back To Work service, which has helped over 1,200 veterans find work since 2010, already operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, this is the first time an Employment Consultant will be embedded in the NHS setting.
Lynne said: “The veterans I will be supporting may have complex mental and physical health conditions developed during or after Service. However, having a health condition should not exclude you from the labour market. Our veterans have a wealth of highly desirable skills and strong values which local businesses should pay attention to.”
Veterans wishing to get employment support can refer themselves directly to Lynne at The Stein Centre, or call on 07387 415429 or email LynneE@poppyfactory.org. Medical practitioners can also refer patients they feel would benefit from speaking to Lynne directly.
As well as working with veterans, Lynne is focussed on developing relationships with companies in the local area who are interested in hiring an ex-Forces member of staff.
“I grew up on the Wirral and went to school and college here so I know the area well. I am keen to build on my existing local employer contacts and form new relationships. Our business community should be supporting the rich talent of ex-Forces personnel we have here.
“There is lots of regeneration work happening on the waterfront, in the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as in the town centre. It would be great to see local veterans using their highly transferable skills, knowledge and experience working in roles to help this important rejuvenation happen.”
The service is a three-year pilot delivered with the Cheshire Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Wirral University Teaching Hospital, and NHS Wirral CCG. Funding has been provided by The Forces In Mind Trust (FiMT), a £35 million funding scheme run by the FiMT using an endowment awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund.