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Revolutionary health scheme for jobseekers launches in Leamington Spa

A leading training provider has teamed up with a Leamington gym to help unemployed people improve their physical and mental wellbeing and ultimately transform the way jobseekers are supported in the region.

PET-Xi has launched its ‘Ignite’ pilot health programme to help those in and around Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth referred to the company as part of the government’s Restart Scheme.  The Scheme takes a holistic approach to helping its participants not only find work but also improve their long-term health and wellbeing and increase their likelihood of staying in work in the future.

The firm, which is delivering the Restart Scheme in south Warwickshire on behalf of employment experts Jobs 22, is hoping Ignite will usher in a new way of supporting unemployed people.

Ignite will see those referred to the Restart Scheme enrolled at Royal Leamington Spa College’s gym, where they will receive a full induction, a tailored plan based on their fitness level, and additional advice and support from a dedicated health coach from Jobs 22 across a three-month period.

Walking and cycling groups are also being launched for those who would prefer to enjoy the outdoors than workout in a gym.

PET-Xi came up with Ignite after seeing Restart participants whose long-term employment prospects were being negatively affected by their health and wellbeing, and who needed a bit of extra help to turn their lives around.

Fleur Sexton, founder of PET-Xi, said: “Providing support to people getting back into work is not just about helping with CVs and training – it’s about helping them have a healthy and fulfilled life too.

“We need to enable people to improve their health and wellbeing, making it more likely they find a job and stay in work rather than falling ill, leaving work and coming back to us again.

“We were seeing more and more people who just weren’t able to stay in work due to their health concerns, and we felt we could do more as a training provider to address this rather than leaving it to the national health service after the fact.

“Both Jobs 22 and Royal Leamington Spa College were really keen on Ignite, so we were able to get the processes in place very quickly. We’re really looking forward to helping those on the Restart Scheme find meaningful work and lead healthier lives.”

Ayden Sims, CEO of Jobs 22, said: “Our Health Coaches always work closely with job seekers because we recognise the importance of health and wellbeing when it comes to finding, and critically, retaining work. Everyone’s different but having a community-led approach and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing partners, allows us to offer an already trusted, infrastructure for local residents.

“Once that foundation is in place our teams have fantastic options like Ignite to choose from when creating tailored support for individuals. If all goes well with Ignite, we’ll be looking to roll out similar schemes across the wider East Central region of the Restart Scheme and potentially other local and national employability programmes.

“We are confident that the Ignite project will be a success in Warwickshire.  The results will be an important part of the national conversation about taking a 360 view on how we should be helping people back into work.”

Royal Leamington Spa College is part of Warwickshire College Group, WCG, and originally partnered with PET-Xi to provide office space for it to deliver the Restart Scheme locally. The Ignite project sees the partnership continue through the use of the college’s gym.

Danny Sumputh, gym manager at Royal Leamington Spa College, said: “We are really looking forward to helping those on the Restart Scheme improve their physical and mental health through either working out at our gym or by getting on their bike.

“Not only will the exercise improve all-around health, but being among like-minded people does wonders for wellbeing issues such as isolation and low self-esteem.

“We are proud to be the first gym to be used on the Ignite project, and we hope we will play our part in helping people find long-term, meaningful work.”

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CAPTION – From left: Matthew Village (Ignite participant), Kieren Bodill (Deputy Marketing Manager at WCG), Juliet Ball (Ignite participant), Fleur Sexton, Daniel Stickley (Ignite participant), Ayden Sims, Nadia Khilli Battal (Ignite participant), and Charmaine Jones (Restart Employer Services Consultant at PET-Xi) at Royal Leamington Spa College’s gym.

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