Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C


Realise Futures wins contract to deliver Work and Health Programme in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 12:20 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 08 March 2018

From left, Realise Futures employment support managers Wendy Lisantri, Dimi Georgieva, Julia Rogers, Andy Jolliffe and Rosie Thomas with employment operations manager Melanie Hercus.

From left, Realise Futures employment support managers Wendy Lisantri, Dimi Georgieva, Julia Rogers, Andy Jolliffe and Rosie Thomas with employment operations manager Melanie Hercus.


Ipswich-based social enterprise Realise Futures has won a five-year contract to deliver the Government-funded Work and Health Programme in Suffolk on behalf of national charity Shaw Trust.

The programme aims to help people who have been unemployed for more than two years, or those with a disability or health condition, to find paid employment.

Shaw Trust has overall responsibility for delivering the programme across the Central and Home Counties regions, operating through partner organisations including Realise Futures, which already provides supported employment services for disabled people on behalf of Essex County Council and Building Better Opportunity contracts in both Suffolk and Essex.

Melanie Hercus, employment operations manager at Realise Futures, said: “Our experienced team of support managers are already on the ground working with participants referred to the Work and Health Programme through Jobcentre Plus.

“Once people are referred to us in Suffolk, our support managers get to know the participant and spend time with them understanding what type of work they are looking for, and what support they need to achieve this.

“An action plan is drawn up and we then support that person on their journey to work. We also work closely with employers as well as other providers and organisations to offer a holistic support service for our participants.”

She added: “We have a lot of experience in this field, helping disabled people to find work and support them through the whole process. We are very proud of the fact that we are Shaw Trust’s chosen provider to deliver the programme in Suffolk.”

Realise Futures, which was spun out of Suffolk County Council as a community interest company in 2012, delivers a mix of adult education and employment support services.

It also includes six social businesses, in sectors including retail, manufacturing, catering and horticulture, which provide direct employment opportunities for adults who have a disability or are otherwise disadvantaged.

Realise Futures is one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England, employing around 330 people in Suffolk and Essex, out of which around 30% themselves have some form of disability.

Suffolk’s food and livestock community has paid a heartfelt tribute to ‘local meat hero’ Charlie Mills, who has died, 
aged 55.

Waving banners and carrying protest placards, more than 200 people marched along Ipswich’s Waterfront today calling for the public to be allowed a say on the Brexit deal.

Young engineering enthusiasts at a Suffolk school have been brushing up their skills as part of a nationwide competition.

Can you see yourself or someone you know in our photo gallery? All pictures were taken at Revolution in Ipswich on Saturday, March 24.

Emergency services were called to the scene of a three-vehicle crash at a busy slip road in Suffolk today.

A new project at Ipswich Hospital is helping hip and knee replacement patients return home faster and is freeing up vital beds.

Unsung heroes who go the extra mile to support their communities took their turn in the limelight as they were honoured at a glittering annual awards ceremony.

Tourism traders in Suffolk are optimistic for an Easter boost following a stunted start to the year, a new survey reveals.

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s PULSE Festival Ipswich, bringing together some of the best contemporary performances and works in progress from established and emerging artists.

Take our news round up quiz to see how news savvy you have been this week.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24