Barts and the London Community Awards


25 / 01 / 2012

The organisation

Barts and The London NHS Trust is one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. With world-renowned hospitals – St Bartholomew’s (Barts) in the City, The Royal London in Whitechapel and The London Chest in Bethnal Green – it has made, and continues to make, an outstanding contribution to modern medicine.

The hospitals’ full portfolio of specialist centres includes the country’s biggest heart centre, one of Europe's most advanced cancer centres, one of the UK’s largest children’s hospitals and a highly successful fertility centre.

Home to London’s air ambulance, Barts and The London is also one of the capital’s leading trauma and emergency care centres, offering surgical expertise that also benefits patients requiring more routine procedures.

What we did and why

Barts and the London NHS Trust is one of the leading trusts working to promote work, health and wellbeing and has set up a specialist community works for health team (CWfH) to help reduce unemployment in the local community.

The team develops solutions to help local people get local jobs, especially those with a poor health history, disability or a long term condition.

In the east end of London there are more than 30,000 people receiving unemployment benefits and approximately 50 per cent of these benefits are health related.

The team helps to place residents in local jobs and run employment training programmes, funded by Barts and the London NHS Trust to tackle these issues. 

In 2010/11, over 100 people gained work in the local health economy as a result of the team’s efforts and many more received training, advice and placement support.

The Barts and the London Community awards ceremony takes place annually.  It celebrates the achievements of local participants who have shown commitment to CWfH programme and ultimately their dedication to improving their health and wellbeing.  The awards bring to life the positive impact the team’s work has on local people’s lives. 

Participants are awarded certificates of achievement and trophies for successfully taking part in employment schemes, work placements and apprenticeship opportunities with Barts and The London.

The ceremony is also an opportunity to commend NHS staff that support the programme by hosting placement and apprenticeship opportunities for local participants.

During the awards recipients shared their experiences with others, talking about how their specific schemes have helped them secure full-time work or has brought improved their self confidence and work experience bringing them closer to being employed.

The presentation also provides a platform to raise awareness to local stakeholders and key partners. Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets Council was present at the ceremony and is a passionate supporter of the health and work agenda.

How we did it

The event was hosted within the trust in the learning and development centre in Mile End Hospital with the aim of keeping the presentation local, informal and friendly.

Team members, Cecilia Clarke and Sadia Ahmed hosted the evening’s event and their experience and enthusiasm drew out an initially reserved audience.

The evening was made special because of the attention to detail and preparation. Additions such as all participants being greeted on arrival with drinks and a warm welcome set the tone for the event and cultural entertainment from Bengali dancers made up part of the evening’s entertainment. Every participant that attended the evening received a certificate of achievement.

During the planning of event, two participants from the employment schemes agreed to share their stories with the audience. Their stories injected a strong human interest element to the night, seeking to make the awards more meaningful and not simply a parade of people collecting certificates.

Guest presenters were also invited to the stage to present the outstanding categories. These included titles such as ‘Trainee of the Year’, ‘Apprentice of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Commitment of the Year’ to name but a few. 

Special guest presenters included Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Graham Houghton, District Manager for Job Centre Plus East London, Stephen O’Brien, Chairman of Barts and The London, and Ali Mohammed, Director of HR and OD for Barts and The London.
Photo opportunities gave participants the chance to capture their special moments of recognition.

Results and next steps

The awards provided a platform to demonstrate the benefits of the work placements to colleagues and stakeholders. With a particular focus on the health and work agenda.

 During the presentation, stakeholders were offered an overview of the various employment schemes delivered by the team and listen to participants’ struggles, challenges and how they overcame barriers in their lives getting back into the job market. 

 Most importantly, the ceremony reinforces the trust’s confidence in the development of local people that have successfully come through the range of schemes delivered by the CWfH team.

Participant story 1

Hasna Banu completed an admin and clerical placement as part of the Work it Out scheme. She then progressed on to full time employment with the East London and the City NHS as a support worker. Hasna attended the ceremony and won the ‘Work it Out Volunteer of the Year’ award, she said:

 “Since getting my job, it’s truly made a difference to my life and my children’s lives.  I’m more confident and I believe in myself!  It all started because of the work experience I did during the Work it Out Programme.”

Participant story 2

Harish Bharucha’s commitment to his voluntary placement was so exemplary he was awarded the Trust’s 2010-2011 ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’.

56 year old Harish worked in the baking industry for 24 years before resigning after he lost the sight in his left eye due to a retinal detachment. After taking part in the ‘NHS Employment Ready’ programme, he secured employment as a housekeeper for a busy ward in the Royal London Hospital and said the role has given him a new lease on life.

“I didn’t want to sit at home but as I had limited mobility and struggled with a computer because of my eyesight   I didn’t know what else I could do.
“Luckily I decided to take part in the NHS Employment Ready programme and after attending some information sessions I volunteered to file paperwork for the Trust.”

The award presentation was filmed by satellite TV (Channel S) and covered in the local media.

Tips for other trusts

• Celebrate the success of project outcomes
• Ensure that this is well publicised
• Ensure that key partners and stakeholders are involved

Further information and contact details

Sadhek Khan, Community Employment Manager - 020 7377 7109

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