New Julian Support Social Enterprise Commences in Suffolk

The scheme is funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership for 1 year and will enable people to learn/ improve their skills to help them become ready for work. Initially this will be through a partnership with Activlives and Landlords and opportunities to learn horticultural skills at our supported housing schemes.

Recovery Into Work will be set up as a separate company that is service user led. We will need people who can help with all aspects of running the company including being part of the management committee.

There will be 2-3 groups in each locality (Ipswich & Bury) spread throughout the year. Each group will take part in a 13 week programme – 3 weeks training and 10 weeks work experience.

The aim is that once people are trained, Recovery Into Work will offer employment opportunities by taking on the routine maintenance and upkeep of the gardens.

The project is phased as follows:

Phase 1

Initial training and work experience

Phase 2

Providing a gardening service at the supported housing schemes by offering employment to people who have completed their training.

Supporting people who have completed the training into other areas of work as they wish.

Phase 3

Contracting to provide gardening services in other locations or to different groups

Phase 4

Exploring other opportunities to provide training and services eg, decorating and general maintenance.

As well as learning a range of horticultural skills, participants will also be able to obtain AQA qualifications if they wish. Julian Support staff will support people to explore work opportunities they are personally interested in. Some people may wish to volunteer for gardening or other work whereas some may move into paid employment, either part time or full time.

People who have completed the training may also wish to become a Peer Support Worker employed by Recovery Into Work to use their strengths and experience to support other people who have mental health issues.

There is lots of evidence that physical activity and being outdoors can improve people’s wellbeing and the impact of the Recovery Into Work programme will be evaluated by Lucy Firth, a psychologist, with support from the University Of East Anglia.

Thank you to all our partners who have helped to get the service up and running.

  • ActivLives
  • Orwell Housing Association
  • Orbit Housing Association
  • Metropolitan Housing Association
  • Sanctuary Housing Association