Job creation through income generation: an evaluation of Re-Cover, a decorating project developed with forensic mental health service users – 2018

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe the effectiveness, achievements and challenges of a job creation project that was developed with people in contact with forensic mental health services. Design/methodology/approach This evaluation (case study) used a mixed methods approach: a range of quantitative and qualitative data were gathered, analysed and interpreted. Findings There were economic and health benefits. The income generation was sufficient to fund a large chunk of the projects operating costs. Service users reported improvements in mental health, wellbeing, confidence, skill development and earning capacity. Research limitations/implications The sample size was too small to be generalised and no validated measures were used. Further research is required into the long-term benefits of job creation in mental health services and providing a continuum of employment support. Practical implications A range of commercial activity can form the basis for job creation and work training projects in mental health services. Substantial operating costs can be generated, to re-invest in job creation/enterprises. Social implications Social value can be enhanced within NHS public sector procurement procedures. Agreement between a range of internal NHS departments is necessary: finance, commercial, estates and facilities, and procurement. Originality/value Public sector procurement has the potential to act as a catalyst to support the inclusion agenda by funding commercial activity that job creation projects can undertake. Sarah McDonald, Mark Bertram The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 2018