February 2015

Congratulations to National Star College's Star Bistro, in Cheltenham, which has just been voted the People’s Favourite in the Sustainable Restaurant Awards 2015. From hundreds of entries and a shortlist of five, the public voted Star Bistro the winner, acknowledging its commitment to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable people. The restaurant also helps fight poverty in the area by delivering food packages to those in need, while all profits go to the No Child Hungry Gloucestershire campaign.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has introduced a new quality standard on psychosis and schizophrenia. This sets out eight quality statements designed to improve the care of adults living with the disorders and includes one on access to Supported Employment. Currently, just 5-15 per cent of people with schizophrenia are in employment and so NICE recommends that adults with psychosis or schizophrenia who wish to find or return to work are offered supported employment programmes.

Greater Manchester is to be given control of the region's £6bn health and social care budget. NHS England is to hand spending decisions on regional healthcare to local politicians, clinical commissioning groups and NHS trusts. The devolved power agreement is expected to be confirmed by the Chancellor George Osborne on Friday and the plan will come into force from April 2016.

BASE is working together with the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) to promote the Level 3 Certificate for Supported Employment Practitioners. A webinar will be held on 23 February from 12.30 to 1.30pm and participants are invited to register for it. Book your place at events@iemployability.org The agenda for the webinar is as follows: 12.30 Welcome 12:35 Introduction and Background to British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) 12:45 Overview of the Certificate for Supported Employment Practitioners

Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, is urging every MP to host a disability employment event in their area to showcase the skills of disabled people at work and encourage businesses to make the most of that pool of talent. He made the call on the day he is due to hold his own event in Gloucestershire. Already more than 30 MPs have signed up to do the same in their areas.

Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, said:

Almost 4,000 people will be helped into employment after Government, the Mayor of London, London Councils and Central London boroughs signed off the details of an £11m scheme that will aim to help people struggling to find work.

Working Capital will run for five years and test a radical new model to support nearly 4,000 central London residents who claim Employment Support Allowance, (the main out-of-work benefit for people with long term health problems) but have left the national Work Programme after two years without finding long term employment.