Forty people from Armley and Lower Wortley have been recruited to work in a new £20 million mental health unit for children and young people ahead of its official opening in January 2022.
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will provide in-patient care for young people from across West Yorkshire with complex mental health issues at Red Kite View, a new 22-bed purpose-built based at St Mary’s Hospital in Armley.
The Armley and Lower Wortley areas have some of the city’s highest unemployment rates, and the Trust has made a commitment to help narrow employment inequality in the area.
Earlier this year, the Trust ran a major recruitment campaign alongside other health and care organisations in Leeds.
This offered 25 assistant support worker and healthcare support worker posts at Red Kite View to people in Armley and Lower Wortley. The position of ‘assistant support worker’ was created for applicants who did not have the required Level 3 entry qualifications or experience for a support worker position.
Dorisz Fuko, from Lower Wortley, is one of the new assistant support workers at Red Kite View and one of the success stories of the new recruitment approach.
Dorisz, who has a three-year-old son, was born in Hungary and currently works as a learning assistant in a specialist school. When she heard of the opportunity to work in the NHS she felt it would make a real difference to her life and said:
“Working in health and care will give me the opportunity to actually grow in my field.”
Although she says she will be sad to leave her young school pupils, she feels she will be able to improve her qualifications and achieve her aim to become a mental health nurse in the health service.
“I can’t wait to work with the young people and help them get back on their feet and feel better.
“Not only does the salary mean I’ll have more financial freedom, this opportunity is going to make a real positive difference to my life – working with people gives so much to you as a person. It teaches you to be more accepting of others, and understand them on another level.”
The Trust also ensured that unsuccessful applicants were helped to find other opportunities, which included working with Leeds City Council via the We Care Academy and the Leeds Employment Hub.
A second recruitment round in October looked for catering and domestic assistants. Twenty applicants attended the assessment days and 15 were offered permanent positions. Four had been long-term unemployed and three people were registered disabled.
All the applicants will be given the opportunity to study towards a health care support worker apprenticeship and gain functional skills qualifications in English and Maths. The Trust will provide free training via Leeds City College.
The recruitment has been so successful that health and care organisations across the city plan to use this model to attract local people for jobs across Leeds.
Nik Lee is the Operational Manager of the Children and Young People’s Inpatient Mental Health Service at Red Kite View. He said:
“It was fantastic to be able to offer more people from the local community an entry-level role in our team.
“We are offering the chance to make a career in the health and care sector, not just a job. The Trust will nurture and support people who want to progress. They can now start their career in health and social care with the full support of the leadership team to help them develop and strive in both a personal and professional capacity.”
Red Kite View will be opening in January 2022 when around six young service users will move across from their current treatment unit at Little Woodhouse Hall in Leeds.
To find out more about Red Kite View visit the facility’s webpage here.