TUC Side With Bosses To Back Tory Workfare Scheme

In an astonishing and genuinely sad day for the trade uni0n movement, the TUC have teamed up with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to issue a statement supporting unpaid work.

The TUC have sided with the bosses to sing the praises of the Tory Traineeship programme.  This unpaid scheme can involve up to five months full-time work, sometimes for giant profit making companies like BT or Virgin.  The placements are used to ‘prepare’ young people to be Apprentices, although there is no guarantee that they will be offered even this at the end of the scheme.

Just like Margaret Thatcher’s despised YTS schemes, Traineeships represent a wealth grab by greedy employers.  Once companies recognised they had to pay young people whilst they trained – now the tax payer will  pick up the tab whilst the worker gets nothing.  And just like the YTS programme was used as political cover to strip benefits from 16/17 year olds, Traineeships will be used to undermine social security payments for those under 25.  George Osborne has already announced that under 22 year olds who refuse a Traineeship will soon face the prospect of six month’s workfare somewhere else instead. 

Despite Osborne’s announcement, the TUC say in the statement that Traineeships should be voluntary.  As claimants themselves know, very little is voluntary such is the current mass benefit sanctioning culture at the DWP.   This doesn’t seem to bother the scabs running the TUC who seem to have decided that Traineeships aren’t workfare, and even if they would rather they were voluntary they appear to back them anyway.  This is an appalling attack on not just young unemployed people, but all workers who will see their own wages and conditions undermined by an army of unpaid staff.

It is hardly surprising that the CBI are salivating at the prospect of this huge subsidy for business at the expense of the working class.  Tory Skills Minister Nick Boles has joined them saying he is ‘delighted’ that the TUC support this scheme.  They no doubt dream of a day when they don’t have to pay people under 25 at all. That day may not be far away and that the TUC are helping to bring it closer is as shocking as it is shameful.

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Invitation to A&E workshop for mental health service users

Wednesday, 7 May from 4.30 – 6.30pm at Waterloo Action Centre, 14 Baylis Road, London SE1 7AA.

We would like to recruit up to 25 mental health service users and carers who have direct experience of accident and emergency services – their experiences may be at St Thomas Hospital A&E or other London hospitals.

We would be grateful if participants could confirm their attendance by no later than Tuesday 29 April, by contacting Jamie Keddie on 020 7188 7188 extension 53954, or email getinvolved@gstt.nhs.uk

We cannot offer to pay people for their time, but we will be delighted to reimburse any reasonable expenses, in accordance with our Trust policy. Light refreshments will be available.

Please find attached a letter from two of our Emergency Care Pathway Transformation Programme clinical leads and emergency medicine consultants, Simon Eccles and Katherine Henderson. We would be very grateful if you could help us by circulating the attached invitation to your service users, as soon as possible.

20140408 MH invite letter Final


Healthwatch Southwark: 1000 lives, People with Long Term Conditions and Recruiting Lay Member & Chair

A reminder… 

  1. 1000 lives engagement – 25th February 2014, 11am-5pm.
  2. SLIC Workshop for Long Term Conditions – 27th February 2014, 11-2.30pm
  3. Calling for Lay Member and Chair to be part of the Healthwatch Board – deadline 21st Feb at 5pm


  1. 1.   Let’s talk about…your health and wellbeing – Event 25th Feb 

We want to hear your voice – please tell us your health story.

Southwark’s Health and Wellbeing Board wants to talk to 1,000 Southwark residents about their health and wellbeing, using a storytelling approach to inform the next Health and Wellbeing Strategy – we are calling this “1,000 Lives”.

Lets talk leaflet 25 Feb

BY telling us your experience, you will help us to understand what you need to stay well, recover from an illness or deal with a long-term condition. Lunch and refreshsments rpvoided to say thank you for telling us your story. Leaflet attached

Time: Tuesday 25th Feb 11am – 5pm. Lunch 12-2pm

Venue: Inspire, The Crypt at St. Peter’s Liverpool Grove, SE17 2HH

Who: Anyonewho lives or work in Southwark and wants to have a say on health and wellbeing

Email healthstory@southwark.gov.uk or call Layla Davidson 020 7525 4285

  1. 2.   Calling people with Long Term Conditions – Workshop – 27th Feb

Do you have:

  • diabetes, HIV, mental ill-health, asthma, chronic heart or kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardio-vascular disease, epilepsy, and so on?

Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care are holding a workshop to help develop services for people with long term conditions. Long term conditions include the conditions above.  

At this workshop, we are keen for people to come along who are living with a long term condition, or multiple long term conditions. We also want to include people who have experience of caring for someone with a long term condition, or who work in the voluntary or community sector with people with long term conditions.

The workshop is on Thursday 27 February from 11.00am – 2.30pm and is at the Maudsley Learning Centre, ORTUS learning and events centre, 82 – 96 Grove Lane, London SE5 8SN. Attached a link to the venue http://www.maudsleylearning.com/ortus-location/

A light lunch will be provided.  Spaces are limited, so if you are interested in attending, please book your place by contacting Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care by phoning on 020 7525 0385 or email at info@slicare.org

  1. 3.   Calling for Lay Member and Chair for Healthwatch Southwark Board – deadline 21st Feb at 5pm

Healthwatch Southwark is recruiting a Lay Member and Chair to join the Healthwatch Board. Both roles will play a part to champion the Southwark patient and public voice to influence the delivery and design of local care services for Southwark residents. If you are interested, please send an email to info@healthwatchsouthwark.co.uk where we will send out an brief job description and person specification. Deadline for closing applications: 21st Feb 5pm

Have a lovely weekend,

Alvin, Sec-Chan and Chip

Healthwatch Southwark Team 

Service user projects about employment

competition Moving Forward Competition Flyer

Via Matthew

Jobs and one voluntary opportunity

Some job Ads may very expire soon


Department Co-ordinator – Leading Mental Health Charity



Bromley & Lewisham Mind: Peer Support Manager



Bromley & Lewisham Mind: Peer Support Coordinator



PR & Communications Officer

Location: Southwark, London

(CALM, the campaign against living miserably, is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide in the UK, which accounts for around 77% of all suicides.)



Drug and Alcohol Recovery Worker–South East London



Discharge Co-ordinator

EmployerKing’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust



NHS Job Index (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust)



Volunteer Data Service Administrator – North Westminster Drug & Alcohol Service



Mental Health Support Worker – Croydon


Via Matthew


Are you interested in taking part in a research study?

I am currently engaged in doctoral studies into mental health and spirituality. I am researching the nature of spirituality in the professional helping relationships of women with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.  I am looking for volunteers who are women aged 19-40 who have been given a label of borderline personality disorder, but who are not currently undergoing treatment for that disorder. You cannot take part in this study if you are a current NHS patient including outpatient or community services.

The study involves you attending a one hour taped interview with me, as the primary researcher and talking about your experiences, your recovery and your spirituality. Travel expenses will be reimbursed if you travel to meet me and I am able to travel to meet with you at a mutually agreeable venue.

I would appreciate any help you can give me with this study. I am hoping to gather information that can contribute to mental health education and inform future therapeutic relationships.

If you want to know more or would like to talk with me directly then I’m happy to give you a ring at your convenience. My contact details are below.

Many thanks for your interest

Kind regards

Deborah Watkins

d.watkins@gre.ac.uk  020 83318072 07867380912

Call for case studies

Dear SLAM,

At the British Heart Foundation, we have been creating a new free resource for keeping your heart healthy, targeted specifically towards mental health service users. We’ve written the booklet and it has been created alongside service users and healthcare professionals from day 1. We’ve got a number of case studies, but are struggling to find BME case studies which we feel are needed in the booklet so that everyone can relate to stories we’re presenting.

We are currently looking for mental health service users that have made a healthy change in their life, such as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, taking regular exercise or eating healthier to act as case studies to feature in the booklet. If this project is of interest to you and you feel you could help us recruit case studies, then I would very much appreciate working with you to produce an excellent support tool for mental health service users. If you want to know more or would like to chat directly then I’m happy to give you a ring at your convenience. My contact details are below.

Kindest Regards,


Dr Matthew McArdle

Project Officer | Heart Health Resources & Community Support

Tel:  020 7554 0225| mcardlem@bhf.org.uk |

British Heart Foundation |Greater London House |180 Hampstead Road | London | NW1 7AW | bhf.org.uk

How will you Ramp up the Red?

On Friday 7 February we need everyone to Ramp up the Red to help fight the UK’s single biggest killer, coronary heart disease. You can organise a Ramp up the Red event at work, school or anywhere and make a donation to the British Heart Foundation. Our latest advert features Gretel, 4, who has already had 2 heart operations. Visit bhf.org.uk/red or call 08000 316 316 for your FREE fundraising pack.