Work Positive is a employability programme aimed at people living with HIV who are long-term unemployed. It provides them with valuable work experience, training and mentoring opportunities to support them back towards the workplace or into education and training.
Work Positive are looking for organisations, big or small, in any sector, to offer part-time, voluntary work experience placements.
What’s in it for you?
By supporting Work Positive you are offering a valuable opportunity to a motivated individual who is looking to build their skills and gain experience. Your volunteer will have been through a robust recruitment and selection process, and will be externally supported by a mentor and a Personal Development Adviser.
A volunteer through Work Positive can support you to:
- increase your capacity in a cost-effective way,
- diversify your workforce bringing in new ideas and perspectives,
- meet any CSR targets and obligations.
What does hosting a placement involve?
Your work placement should:
- be a part-time volunteer role for up to six months,
- provide regular supervision and constructive feedback to your volunteer,
- offer reasonable flexibility with regards to working hours and work pattern,
- understand the needs and expectations of someone returning to the workplace after a long period of illness and unemployment.
What support can you expect?
We provide regular email, phone and face-to-face support from the Work Positive Programme Coordinator, along with training and support to understand the needs and expectations of someone returning to the workplace after a long period of illness.
How to get involved
Let us know you're interested using the button below and we'll be in touch to arrange everything.
There will also be a Speed Matching Event on Friday 28 September 2018 where you will have the opportunity to advertise your organisation and roles available and meet all participants.
If you’d like to find out more about this or how to get involved in general, contact Ruth Burns, National Work Positive Programme Manager, on [email protected] or 0207 812 1804.
Sign up your organisation here
Mark, Executive Assistant at Terrence Higgins Trust, has supported three participants on Work Positive.
Why did you sign up to be a Work Positive Placement Manager?
For some people, receiving an HIV diagnosis is a profound life changing experience. In the best cases, people accept their diagnosis, realise that HIV is just a part of them but doesn’t define them and get on with life.
However, in the worst case scenarios, people lose their jobs, homes, loved ones and community support through stigma and ignorance. If they remain silent it can be a frightening and isolating experience. In the latter two cases, I have witnessed friends lose their confidence too and feel like they’re of little or no value.
I signed up to be a Work Positive Manager in the hope of restoring their feeling of self worth and showing them that the only barriers to achieving what we want are often put in place by ourselves.
How did you find the experience of managing someone who had been unemployed for a while?
Each placement is a unique person who arrives with their own unique history, skill sets, life experiences and hopes for the future. I find it important to give them the opportunity to talk openly about that (but only if they wish to and when they are ready). I usually start by working to their strengths.
Every placement has experienced employment in their past or has a hobby/interest that motivates them to do something well, so it’s about revisiting what they say they enjoyed doing in the past and trying to incorporate that into the current workload.
What was the highlight for you?
Without doubt it is seeing their confidence soar and achieving their goals. A smile is priceless.
Key piece of advice for someone managing someone on the Work Positive programme?
I start with an informal chat about what they want to achieve out of their placement, whether that is to try out something new, return to paid employment at the end or if it is simply to create stepping stones for them to reach a longer term plan/goal.
Monthly one-to-one catch-up meetings to review work completed and reinforce the experience they’ve had to demonstrate what they have done well helps build that confidence.
Finally, I always thank my placement at the end of each day for giving their time freely and volunteering.