Leeds Jewish Welfare Board has received £137,000 from the Big Lottery Fund towards Neshama Works, a project helping those with mental health problems to find employment through education and training. There will also be volunteering opportunities.
Neshama will approach employers to seek out job and mentoring possibilities.
Neshama manager Janine Field pointed out that “people who work have improved physical and mental health and well-being, improved skills and self-esteem”.
Welfare board chief Rebecca Weinberg said the funding “could not have come at a better time”, allowing the charity to deliver services which “we would never have been able to do otherwise in the current economic climate. The changes in welfare reform focus on reducing benefits and making work pay.
“But it is ext-remely difficult to get people into work without the confidence, skills and self-esteem needed to do so.”
In the past year, LJWB has experienced a 39 per cent rise in referrals to its mental health service.