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Raising awareness with the Department of Work and Pensions

December 01, 2016

Action for M.E. is today hosting a training session for more than 80 work coaches employed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to raise awareness of the needs of people who have M.E. and are able, with the right support, to stay in or return to employment.

The training has come out of our Support, Empower and Employ people with M.E. (SEE M.E.) pilot project, which was embedded within the specialist Bristol NHS M.E. clinic and employed specialist employment support staff with experience of M.E to work with more than 120 people with M.E. over 12 months between 2015 and 2016. Independent evaluation of the project found that 72% of SEE M.E. clients achieved their employment goals which included returning to their job after lengthy sickness absence, starting a new job and, for those too ill to work, making their best possible exit from unsustainable employment.

Delivered by our SEE M.E. Project Coordinator, the training is based on our SEE M.E. toolkit, which supports work coaches, specialist M.E. clinicians, employment advisers, and careers guidance practitioners to understand M.E. from their client’s unique point of view and personal experience, integrate the support they offer, and work collaboratively with other support professionals.

The project also helped inform updates to our employment resources for people with M.E. and their managers.