The Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey MP, recently announced further measures to ensure disabled people can benefit from Access to Work.
The Government will also implement a package of measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel, chaired by Mike Adams from the Essex Coalition of Disabled People (ecdp).
The full notice can be found in the DWP’s pressroom. Further information about Access to Work can be found on GOV.UK.
One of the measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel is for “Grassroots disability organisations (Disabled People’s User Led Organisations) to look at what else can be done to provide one-to-one peer support to disabled people using the Access to Work scheme”.
This Expression of Interest outlines how you can get involved in this work.
DPULOs, peer support and Access to Work – background
DPULOs currently deliver peer support in areas such as social care and volunteering. Evidence from social care reports show people have more choice and control and flexibility over their care and support through peer-led approaches, including in assessment, care planning and implementation. Formal programmes in health – such as the Expert Patient Programme – are also built on principle of peer support.
We are now keen to look at how peer support can work for people using Access to Work in their local area.
There is a variety of options for DPULOs to deliver peer support activities in their local area which could both complement and supplement support provided through the Access to Work process. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Buddying scheme – pairing up individuals with similar impairments / conditions or employment situations who use Access to Work
- Advice – DPULOs can provide focussed and targeted advice on specific groups, eg people with learning disabilities or mental health conditions, or young disabled people
- Support – DPULOs could provide support to employers and encourage and up skill JCP advisers to support employers in their local area
- Workshops – DPULOs could arrange Access to Work workshops with groups of people in preparation for starting work or long-term sick employees returning to work. Workshops would be able to identify what help is available and enable employees to have an opportunity to share learning of what works
- Other forms of peer support – DPULOs can offer various other forms of peer support, such as one-to-one, on the telephone, or as mentoring in the workplace. Workplace peer support could also be used to enable disabled employees to progress in work and more importantly keep the job.
What we are going to do
Working through the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations programme, we are inviting local DPULOs to put forward their ideas for delivering innovative peer support for people using Access to Work. This can be either a new project, or build on something you are already doing.
We are aiming to start this work as soon as possible. Expressions of Interest are invited below, and will be marked according to the criteria highlighted.
Organisations that are successful at the Expression of Interest stage will be asked to write a full proposal for consideration at a special meeting of the Facilitation Fund Board, which will comprise members of the Access to Work Expert Panel and Ambassadors from the Strengthening DPULOs Programme.
We are looking for around 10 local DPULOs to deliver a project. We anticipate these projects beginning in January 2013 and running for approximately 12 months, including evaluation.
Please note: any DPULO is eligible to express an interest, even if you have already received funding from the Facilitation Fund. The normal Facilitation Fund financial limits will not apply to this work. For further information on this, please contact Rich Watts (details below).
Expressions of Interest
We would like DPULOs to submit a brief (no more than 4 sides A4) Expression of Interest to deliver an innovative peer support project for AtW in their local area.
Your Expression of Interest will be marked against the following criteria:
- The DPULO’s knowledge, understanding and expertise regarding Access to Work and the barriers individuals face
- The DPULO’s track record in delivering peer support approaches that result in tangible differences in their local area
- The DPULO’s idea for an innovative peer support project for Access to Work in their local area
- The scalability of the proposed innovative peer support project
- The DPULO’s approach to partnership work in delivering the project
- The DPULO’s approach to capturing learning and evaluating the effectiveness of the project
- The DPULO’s capacity to demonstrate the ability to deliver this work over the next 12 months
- The proposed cost for this project and its value for money.
Expressions of Interest will be considered and marked by the Strengthening DPULOs Programme and members of the Access to Work Expert panel. Shortlisted DPULOs will be chosen solely on the basis of the information provided.
Please submit your Expression of Interest to Richard.Watts1@dwp.gsi.gov.uk by 5pm on Friday 14 December.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Rich above. Similarly, if you know a DPULO who may be interested in this opportunity, please pass this information on to them.