News: After months of careful planning, we welcomed the first of our service users back to Workbridge this week.

There was excitement, smiles and lots to catch up on over the past few months, as our amazing service users and talented instructors met in session at Workbridge – 4 months after we closed our service because of lockdown.

As part of a gradual and gentle re-opening of Workbridge to our service users, sessions are now being offered on site as half days, in the morning or afternoon within the week. Our adapted plans and redesigned layout inside departments, means that we can offer fun and meaningful activities for people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, autism and brain injuries - while maintaining safe social distancing and stringent hygiene standards.

Here’s a reminder of the social distancing measures we have in place to keep our staff and service users safe.

Becky Phillips, Service Manager at Workbridge had this to say about the return of service user sessions at Workbridge:

“Lockdown has been hard on so many people, not least for people with learning disabilities, mental illnesses, autism and brain injuries who have been more isolated than many due to the closure of local services. Like many other providers in Northamptonshire, we are pleased to re-open once again and be able to offer a really important service to people in support of their wellbeing and welfare.”

“It’s been a pleasure welcoming everyone back. Our planning has been a success and the feedback we have received has been really positive. We can’t wait to see more familiar faces developing their confidence and skills at Workbridge over the coming weeks.”

What our service users say:

I have seen just how serious you all are taking this (safety measures) and I'm going to see if I can come out of gardening and do more sessions in woodwork.” 

“I am so happy to be back, I was very anxious at first but now I feel safe and relaxed”.

“It’s so good to be back. You wouldn’t believe how glad I am!” 

"M came home very happy. Already sorted out their stuff for tomorrow. Thank you." - carer.

Activities our service users have been up to on their first week back:

  • Contracting and Office Skills

Service users have been catching up with friends, while instructors support them to fulfil business orders, as well as sharing with us stories of their own lockdown experiences (in Office Skills).

  • Coffee Shop, Charity Shop and Garden Centre

In our retail areas, service users have been helping to serve customers, manage our garden centre allotment / learn about how vegetables are grown from seed to harvest, and support customers in the charity shop with their purchases.

  • Ceramics, Woodwork and Woodturning

Service users have been learning about the process of slip casting (ceramics), working on woodwork projects for customers and lessons on woodturning lathes.

  • Catering, Textiles and Design & Print

We resumed training sessions in our catering kitchen and welcomed back service users to textiles where we use various craft methods to upcycle items. Our design and print department welcomed service users back who want to learn about design packages like Adobe Photoshop and how to print to a professional standard using print and design techniques proven from the industry.

Sessions also re-opened for patients at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Workbridge WWASP and Light & Heavy Industry.

Check out our social media page to see more of the activities our service users have been taking part in this week.

Contact us to learn more about how to refer to Workbridge to develop meaningful life and work skills with us.