North Wales Training has been on a quest to improve the confidence of their Work Programme customers who are receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
With the support of sniffer dog training centre IEDS Ltd, North Wales Training has devised an engaging training programme to support those who want to get back into work who are battling with mental health conditions such as; depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and have a real lack of self-esteem and confidence.
North Wales Training is delivering the Government’s Work Programme on behalf of JobFit, which helps long-term unemployed people back into work through a tailored package of support and assistance.
Mark Davies, from North Wales Training, said he was pleased to be working with IEDS Ltd and piloting a dedicated training programme for customers suffering with mental health conditions.
Mark said: “We have devised a course for individuals who suffer with mental health conditions such as; depression, anxiety, OCD, with the goal of building their confidence and feeling more motivated about finding and getting a job.
“Independent studies have identified the benefits of working with animals, and recognise how it can help with some of the challenges people with mental health conditions face.
“The six week pilot course has been offered to twelve of our ESA customers. Our customers are involved in walking, grooming and generally looking after the dogs.
“So far the outcome of the programme seems to be very positive, with some great attendance figures and really encouraging comments from both our customers and K9 pursuits.”
Mia Tan, Director of IEDS Ltd, said: “North Wales Training customers work with our sniffer dogs in canine care and basic obedience, which provides an insight into training with search dogs.
“Dogs are known for their empathy with people and we harness their drive to work in a team to provide powerful therapy to help people from diverse backgrounds to improve their self-esteem and confidence.
“It is fantastic to watch people grow and regain their mojo. Going back to work after a period of ill health can be daunting and we are so proud of each one of our customers who have worked hard to succeed in their own personal growth.”