New work and health centre launched

Martin Gardner posted on Sep 26 2017

A new work and health hub designed and funded by Blackpool Council has officially opened its doors.

The HealthWorks brings together a range of employment, health and lifestyle advice for local residents to help them gain and sustain jobs, as well as improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Located in the heart of Blackpool town centre HealthWorks is now home to support services including employment and self-employment advice, careers advice, online job search, work placements, benefits checks, debt and money advice, talking therapy and access to health coaches.

£800,000 has been invested to modernise vacant council office space at Clifton Street, the former home of the Tourist Information Centre and other back-office teams.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader, Responsible for Economic Growth and Employment, said: “Evidence shows that that work is good for your health, but worklessness has the opposite effect. This important initiative redoubles our efforts to provide quality employment and health advice to residents who need our help, delivered from a fantastic new facility.
“7 in 10 of Blackpool’s working age benefit claimants have some form of limiting physical or mental health condition. We cannot ignore this challenge if we are to increase our overall employment rate. There are a wide range of partners and employers who are helping the council to achieve this goal.”

HealthWorks includes a £2m Mental Health and Employment Trailblazer, one of only three in the country, trialling the impact of combining specialist employment advice with talking therapies for out of work residents with unmet mental health needs such as depression and anxiety. The trial is co-delivered with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ Supporting Minds service.

Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary, Responsible for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Some residents living in Blackpool face challenges which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Many people do want to make a change and improve their health – eat healthier, do more exercise, drink less, stop smoking or feel less isolated but they need motivation and advice on how to go about making ‘doable’ lifestyle changes.

“That’s where HealthWorks and the Healthy Lifestyle team come in, to empower people to take simple manageable steps to better health.”