Recovery Worker Week 2020 round-up

As one of the largest voluntary sector providers of mental health support in England, our frontline staff are critical to our work and the wellbeing of the people we support.

Our frontline staff have gone above and beyond this year during the Covid-19 pandemic and we’ve been shining the spotlight on what they do with a dedicated week on our social media.

During Recovery Worker Week (16-20 November) we shared a blog from Jo, our North Head of Operations about her visits to services during the Covid-19 pandemic and the excellent work she witnessed first-hand during these challenging times.

‘Our frontline workers have continued to go into their workplace and adapted their home life to ensure they are as safe as they can be to continue to support the people that use our services’. – Jo.

Deborah, Service Manager at Willow House in Lancashire wrote a blog about how our Crisis houses have continued to provide care despite the lockdown.

‘I didn’t think I’d face new challenges such as dogs barking over Skype or parrots chirping during a telephone intervention’. – Deborah.

We handed over the reins of our Twitter account to Anna, Crisis Recovery Worker at our Lincolnshire Crisis House. During ‘Recovery Worker Takeover’, Anna tweeted what she was doing across the day to give a flavour of the tasks our frontline staff carry out on a daily basis.

We also shared a range of experiences from our Recovery Workers across the country.

International Men’s Day also fell during Recovery Worker Week (Thursday 19 November), so we used this opportunity to showcase our frontline roles as great careers for men to consider. Rob, Peer Volunteer Co-ordinator at our Wiltshire Recovery and Social Inclusion service explained on video how Richmond Fellowship is a mindful employer for older men in the organisation.

If you’re interested in a career with us, or any of the partners in our Recovery Focus Group of charities, please take a look at our vacancies page by

A day in the life of a Recovery Work – Apply today

Right now, we are looking for someone like you to join our team in Northampton where we support people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems. Are you caring and compassionate? Looking for a role where you can make a real difference to people’s lives every day? Welcome to Richmond Fellowship as a Recovery Worker. In this blog post, we take you through the day in the life of a recovery worker.

A typical day at Richmond Fellowship? To be honest, there isn’t one. One of the best things about this job is the variety. When you are arriving for your shift you are never sure what is going to happen. One day you will be helping people develop the skills to live independently, the next you could be interacting with healthcare professionals developing their care plan or maybe you will gain further qualifications through Richmond Fellowship’s training scheme.

To start the day the team meets for a handover from the previous shift. This is an opportunity to talk about plans for the day, which person you will focus your time on and sharing out tasks. The handover paperwork is completed to make sure we don’t forget anything. We’re commissioned to provide these services and our commissioners have expectations. We must keep records making sure the building is a safe place to live and work. These tasks are built into the shift leaving plenty of time for getting out and about with the people we support. Then it is off to see if anyone needs a hand to get up, washed, dressed, and ready for the day.

Once breakfast is finished it is time to plan the day. Each person has a set of life goals and it is the job of a recovery worker to encourage them to work towards those goals. For example, someone may have a goal to find a relationship. We break down that goal into smaller, manageable chunks. To meet someone special they may need to join groups and activities. With that in mind, you would spend time together searching out groups of interest and building up their confidence to attend. It is easy to see how each day can contribute to achieving that long term goal.

This job is all about supporting people to do things their way. It would be easy to give people a list of local activities but that takes away from helping someone learn how to search and find activities and events that suit them and their interests. That can all take time and it must be done at a pace to suit the person or the journey to becoming more independent is interrupted. Bringing ideas and suggestions for the people who live at the service creates a real buzz when we find something new to try.

You don’t need to have loads of experience of recovery work or of learning disabilities, autism or mental ill health to be good at this job. Richmond Fellowship provides a lot of training to develop the technical knowledge but this job is all about building relationships with the people who live in the house and your colleagues. If you have the basic values of kindness, patience and compassion everything else can be learned.
There may be appointments to arrange and attend. There are often visits from other professionals who are involved in people’s lives such as care coordinators, nurses or psychiatrists. You will talk with them and the person you support to develop their care plan or take the next step on their recovery journey. There are families and friends to spend time with. You will need good communication skills and a positive attitude to meet all these people. This job is all about providing as much or as little support as needed to make sure that people are living the life they choose.

The end of the day tends to be focused on preparing for bed and encouraging good sleep. Sleep is an essential part of being well for everyone and developing healthy sleep routine is a great way to get the best out of the next day. After you leave you can do some shopping with the exclusive discounts for Richmond Fellowship employees or maybe cycle home on the bike provided by our cycle to work scheme.

It can be a demanding and full-on job. It requires a lot of energy to stay motivated and energetic even when people are lethargic and disengaged. You won’t be on your own. Richmond Fellowship is a team and there is a lot of support for this role including training, monthly supervision with your manager, and team meetings. There is a staff council so you know you’re views will be heard at the top. It is essential to make good use of all of these tools to keep your batteries charged and the ideas flowing.

Could you volunteer for our Leicester Life Links service?

Our Richmond Fellowship Life Links service in Leicestershire is currently looking for volunteers.

We provide a wellness and mental health recovery service tailored to meet individuals needs.

Our information, advice and navigation services can help find community and digital resources that will help to achieve your recovery outcomes, make independence more sustainable and provide support in developing support networks.

Our community recovery support is available as an individual or as part of a wider group and can be provided at a local community venue. The support we offer focuses on strengths, needs and future aspirations.

Volunteers will be working alongside staff to provide support to those experiencing mental ill health through our information, advice and navigation service.

Volunteers will be delivering this service via a phone line and monitoring our website. This will also be provided out in the community at our open surgeries and at events. Another opportunity we have is becoming a Peer Support group volunteer. This includes helping to facilitate peer support groups for those who have lived mental health experience. These opportunities are a great way to get experience working alongside those experiencing mental ill health and is extremely rewarding.

We need people with empathy, excellent listening skills and a non-judgmental attitude. You do not need any previous experience as you will be provided with full training and an opportunity to develop this further if you wish. We need reliable volunteers who are able to dedicated a minimum of 6 months of their time to our service.

We welcome volunteers and really appreciate their commitment and efforts as they are essential to the services we provide. Continuous support is provided.

For further information or to apply please email: VolunteeringinLLR@RichmondFellowship.org.uk.

Our commitment to your information

IG buttons full set horizontalInformation is something we handle a lot as a national mental health charity, a lot of this being personal and sensitive in relation to the people we support, our staff and the organisations we work with.

We know it’s really important that this is handled carefully and held securely in our systems, which is why each year we run an awareness week for our staff.

The awareness week will involve posters in our services and offices across the country, giving our staff and volunteers a handy booklet with guidance about information governance, and talking about our shared duties throughout the week to make sure everyone’s up to speed.

Information Governance is a framework which brings together legal rules, guidance and good practice to ensure that we can be trusted to handle information in a confidential and secure way. It’s something all our staff and volunteers are responsible for so we make sure they’re all informed, trained and prepared so that we can avoid any information breaches.

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Clothes bank appeal for employment service

Employment advisers Dan Watson and Abi Shaw

A national mental health charity is appealing for donations of smart clothing to help support people who don’t own suitable clothing going for job interviews in Yorkshire.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, provides employment support to people living with mental health problems with the aim of finding full time – work, helping them secure volunteering opportunities or full time training.

The charity’s employment service in Kirklees and Dewsbury is now appealing for people to donate their unwanted business outfits to help clients at the service who don’t own smart clothing for a job interview.

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