Client stories & testimonials

Client stories & testimonials

"After working in two jobs for over 37 years in uniformed work, I had a number of years off work with mental health issues. These have now thankfully receded and I am now an employee at a local school in Lincolnshire. At the age of 55 I had to leave work due to suffering a severe bout of mental health issues which affected my life greatly, both professionally and personally. Through making good decisions and having great support from the NHS, I have managed to get back into work, which has greatly improved my all round health in general. A big part of this was assistance from the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Service and my support worker Dee-Anne, who assisted me by dealing with paperwork and agencies. That was massive help in my recovery and in steadying my mental health condition. I'm still receiving medication but hopefully with continued favourable conditions I hope to move onwards and upwards. I am now a trained Peer Link Worker and I am currently working with the NHS to improve mental health facilities." - M, 59

"Employment Specialist Abbie was appointed to me after I was referred to utilise the IPS Service for employment support via Lincoln Community Mental Health Team. Abbie’s assistance and support was paramount not only with my employment needs, but also by contributing towards better mental health over all. Abbie assisted and supported me with various employment needs, inclusive of C.V preparation, job applications and interview preparation skills. Abbie even scheduled time to assist me within an interview process alongside employers. Abbie worked endlessly to meet my needs and to identify my preferences enabling me to not only gain employment, but also to build a career over time. Abbie continued to offer me follow on support once I was successful with gaining employment. I utilised follow on support on many occasions inclusive of gaining insight from Abbie with regards to reasonable adjustment rights in the work place. Abbie spoke with my employer on my behalf when I was at a time of homelessness and struggled to meet my working shift pattern. Abbie always worked in a person centred non-judgemental manner with myself and continued to go above and beyond to meet my needs, wishes and preferences. Since working with Abbie I was also successful by achieving  qualifications, as well as priceless skills to enhance by ability to gain employment. Over a two year period from utilising Abbie’s insight and wealth of knowledge shared, I have secured an apprenticeship and two promotions within a career that would never of been an option due to the lack of education. I will be for ever grateful to Employment Specialist Abbie Corley and the IPS Service for enabling me to live a good quality of life regardless of my mental health illnesses and by removing barriers which enabled me to reach my goals." - Service User

"Thank you Jasmine for your help it’s been amazing and you’ve helped me get through college and even gain confidence to go to college, helped with benefits and aided me to independently look for jobs and to be happy and comfortable at interviews. You've made me realise I have skills and that work actually strangely helps with mental health, which is crazy but it does. Jasmine helped me through the ups and downs etc. of losing a job and getting a new job. I never thought I’d work at one point so I’m really happy with what I’m doing today. It’s a great service and has helped me gain the confidence I have now to get jobs. So thank you!" - Service User

"I worked with Dee and I just really got on with her, I found her approachable and her system of working worked perfectly for me. I also ran into a bit of a problem with one job application in which I felt I had been treated unfairly because of declaring my mental illness and fully believe Dee ‘had my back’. The fact I felt she was supporting me and on my side probably stopped the negative experience of that job application from becoming something that really disrupted my mental health and caused a relapse/huge backwards step. It is hard to convey just how important her reaction and support was at that time. It prevented a ‘wobble’ becoming something far more significant. Also, if it wasn’t for Dee I would have let that negative experience put me off and would not have applied for any other jobs. So it is fair to say that if it wasn’t for Dee I would not be where I am now." - Service User

"I knew my old job was having a negative effect on me. I didn’t realise just how detrimental it was until months had passed and I spent some time in my new job. I came to realise that the difference between the new job and the old were worlds apart and I am so grateful to IPS for finding it for me. Shelia helped me to come from a place where I was just doing the bare minimum to get by, to a place where I was doing things because I wanted to find enjoying in them. My new job meant rather than feeling worthless, life became more worth living. The help I received and the patience, time and care provided helped me to feel appreciative and regain confidence. I didn’t feel alone anymore in my situation. Sheila patiently listened to me practice a presentation for a job interview over and over again. It was a kindness I really didn’t expect and had not received before. Sheila didn’t just help me with finding a more suitable job, but she listened. She was encouraging and reassuring. She even helped correct my negative thinking. Most of all she was understanding. I was not just left entirely when in my new role either. I was contacted on a regular basis to help settle me in. I felt completely supported and given encouragement when doubts and unhelpful thinking came to me about my own abilities. I can never repay the abundance of kindness and care that was given to me, but I am fortunate enough to pass it on to others in my new job role where I now feel useful, appreciated and content and able to help and support others as I was supported. Sheila and the IPS service found the right job for me." - Service User

"I had been unemployed through illness for over 15 years, although I’d done a little voluntary work which never led to paid employment. IPS helped manage with the route of how I would work around permitted work with the DWP. Michelle from IPS helped me the week of my interview with interview techniques and how to best represent myself. Regular contact helped me to keep focused and reduce anxiety about the interview and build confidence that I was capable to apply and do the job. IPS supported me to work out a way to manage my finances and that I would not be worse off financially or more importantly remain mentally well in work. Reasonable adjustments were made for the permitted work rule which I never knew about. IPS supported by informing the team that I was working with that I had a mental health condition and how it may impact on me and my work. As peer support managers were made aware it made me feel less anxious and well supported in the role. A 12-hour contract was negotiated with support. I cannot thank IPS enough for the support given and the anxieties it reduced in applying for the job and interview techniques - reassuring me that it would work out. Without this support I probably wouldn’t have gone to the interview and now it’s helped me gain confidence, has improved my self-esteem and my mental health is the best it’s ever been because of working. I felt like this was the start of my career. In June this year I felt like I had built up the confidence to progress into roles with a little more responsibility, so I started to apply for full time positions. I applied for five and was offered an interview for all five. I had a choice to make so I interviewed for a Senior Occupational Therapy Assistant role working for the Recovery College. I was successful and I am now in my first full time role. Without the support of IPS this journey would of not happened. It is never too late and with the right support and guidance it is possible to get back to working. Never give up. Thank you." - Service User

"I was unemployed due to mental illness for around seven years, and saw holding down a paid job as unrealistic. Following some volunteer work I accessed the IPS Service, which has played a huge part in where I am today. My IPS worker supported securing a part-time job under permitted work hours, which is the right "first step" for now; and I really value the in-work follow on support where we can talk about any problems, worries or questions. It is the most person-centred service I've experienced for employment - always about our goals rather than system goals. I doubt that I would've successfully secured employment without IPS - but I especially doubt that I would've held down the role because ill mental health always won in the past. This service cares about your wellbeing, and supports you in the things that matter to you. I cannot express my gratitude enough." - Service User 

I was referred to the Crisis team and then finally to the Early Intervention in Psychosis team. I was unable to return to work and had to claim disability benefits for the first time in my life. This was over five years ago and my recovery journey has involved many ups and downs since. Covid, illness in my family and my own traumas prolonged my illness but there were also positives such as my amazing psychiatrist, mental health nurses and my peer support worker. I was eventually discharged from EIP to CMHT and earlier this year I knew I was ready to start looking for meaningful employment again. I began by volunteering in my community and once I had settled doing this my psychiatrist referred me to IPS in the hope I could gain help looking for and applying for jobs. That’s how I met Sheila. Sheila first helped me use benefits calculators to reassure me that I could afford to seek part time work (I was worried about the effect on my health of jumping straight into a full-time job). We also worked through my ‘vocational profile’ which details what kind of work I was looking for, what barriers existed and what support I needed. Sheila was calm, wise, compassionate and professional. For each job I applied for Sheila helped check my application/ CV and covering letter. At first I was unsuccessful a number of times but with Sheila’s encouragement I asked for feedback which helped me understand how to give better answers in interviews and the importance of using examples. She found the role of Peer Support Worker which she encouraged me to apply for. I was incredibly nervous but used my interview notes, my previous feedback and Sheila’s advice. And I was successful! One of the first people I told about my success was Sheila and I could hear how happy she was for me over the phone. It was wonderful to share that with her and I have never felt prouder. I know I’ll have support for up to a year in my new role. I couldn’t be happier or feel more supported. Without Sheila I wouldn’t have found my new role of Peer Support Worker and certainly wouldn’t have been successful in the interview. I owe her a great deal… Thank you. - Daisy

“I am happy in my current position and I feel confident in my future career prospects. This is more apparent to me when I think of where I was when I started engaging with Jasmine under the IPS Employment Service and I cannot thank her enough for everything she has assisted me with to get to this point. I simply would not have been able to navigate through it without the invaluable assistance given to me through the service. From help with my CV and talking about the qualification I was considering to being able to discuss things with her through the ups and downs. Even getting to the point where I attended my first big interview, though unsuccessful, I was given helpful feedback from which I am now working on. Additionally, I am now only one examination away from completing my diploma. The times where I was doubtful and anxious seem very far away now. I'll not easily forget the positive difference the service made to my life and I wholeheartedly thank them for this.” – F, 30