SEED a Success at Arrowhead Clubhouse
Arrowhead Clubhouse, Sunshine Coast Community Services and Vancouver Foundation partnered to develop and implement SEED (Skills Enhancement for Employment and Development) as part of a pilot project until 2019.
Sunshine Coast Community Services' Arrowhead Clubhouse is a place where adults living with mental illness can come to learn skills, get support and build relationships in a safe, stigma-free environment. It is an inclusive community of hope where individuals find encouragement, opportunities and, most importantly, a sense of ownerhip and belonging.
Each day, three staff and up to 40 clubhouse members work side-by-side as colleagues to perform the work that is important to their community, such as welcoming people into the building, running the kitchen, staffing reception, tending to the vegetable garden, and maintaining the space; all the time focusing on members' strengths rather than their illness.
Arrowhead members identified a need to find meaningful employment in their community as a means to a livable income, decent housing and good social support. However, Arrowhead member often face barriers to accessing employment on the Coast. They all want to be contributing members of society, but for various reasons that is difficult for many. Sometimes they lack the skills and support needed to find employment and be successful in the workforce, but often they experience an unwillingness of employers to hire them.
Last year, we created a pilot project to support Arrowhead members to find meaningful employment in their community. We partnered with the Vancouver Foundation to develop and implement SEED (Skills Enhancement for Employment and Development) that will run as a pilot project until 2019. This project aims to create positive work opportunities that will shift negative perceptions, increase the employment skills of adults living with mental illness and increase the number of employment opportunities for thse adults within the Sunshine Coast Food Bank and the community.
In February 2018, the first session of SEED commenced, which is an eight-week employment readiness course designed to support members of the Arrowhead Clubhouse to improve their skills and gain the confidence needed to enter the working world. The first session culminated with job interviews for two part-time six-month positions at the Sunshine Coast Food Bank. Four members completed the first course with two members being employed at the Food Bank and the other two being offered positions in the community. The course will be offered ever six months with different members having a chance to enroll in the course and apply for the jobs at the Food Bank.
In addition to providing training for members, SEED is also connecting with three local business champions and two other community partners to help educate the community about best practices when supporting adults living with mental illness in the workforce.
About Arrowhead Clubhouse
Arrowhead's mission is to support our members who suffer from a serious chronic mental illness on their journey to recovery. This is done by creating opportunities through the use of our facility, support programs, our housing initiative, and our ability to build a bridge with a wider community.