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Tackling the Blues nominated for employability award

EDGE Hill's partner Everton in the Community has been shortlisted for an award recognising its longstanding contribution to graduate outcomes.

The TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2023 celebrate success and excellence in the graduate recruitment space, recognising what recruiters are doing to attract, recruit, onboard, train and retain talent.

Everton in the Community has been shortlisted for The AGCAS award for excellence in careers and employability service engagement category for the roles and training it offers to students as part its Tackling the Blues programme.

Tackling the Blues is a unique mental health prevention and early intervention sports and arts-based education programme delivered in partnership between Edge Hill University, Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool.

To date 3,222 students have taken part in the programme as lead and support mentors who are provided with training by Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool staff. Students work on the co-production, delivery and evaluation of the programme gaining experience in working with Schools, young people and communities.

Edge Hill's Head of Careers and Graduate Employability Becka Colley-Foster said:- "Tackling the Blues is personally transformative for students by enhancing their likelihood of securing highly skilled work, improving graduate level employability skills, and supporting wider health and wellbeing. I'm also immensely proud of the Edge Hill careers team who designed and delivered the mentor and training programmes with support from our incredible partners."

Over 80% of participating students have progressed to graduate level employment in education and 66% in sport with jobs ranging from teaching and mental health services to community sport and business management.

Jack Mullineux, Tackling the Blues Manager at Everton in the Community, said:- "We are delighted that our student mentors from Tackling the Blues have secured employment in a range of competitive sectors, and that the programme and its outcomes have been recognised on this award shortlist. Tackling the Blues provides our student mentors with a unique opportunity to gain relevant experience in community sport, art and mental health and allows them to develop important transferable work-based skills which are attractive to employers. We're really proud of the incredible outcomes we've seen from the programme and being shortlisted for this award is fantastic recognition for our staff and participants."

Research also shows that over three-quarters of EHU students who engaged in Tackling the Blues reported improvements in their own mental health literacy, which enabled them to self-manage their mental health and complete their University studies.

The multi-sector benefits of Tackling the Blues have been cited in a range of policy documents, most recently in the UK Government policy brief, Moving for Mental Health, and recognised in the receipt of the 2022 Educate North Mental Health and Wellbeing Award and North West Coast Research and Innovation Tackling Health Inequalities Award.

Launched in 2015 to address an unmet mental health need among children and young people, the programme has benefitted the mental health of more than 2,000 6 to 16 year olds and nearly 3,000 University students in areas with some of the poorest health and educational wellbeing nationally. It has engaged with more than 30 Schools and enabled students to secure graduate-level jobs supporting the mental health of others.

The full awards shortlist can be found on the TARGETjobs award shortlist page. The awards take place on Thursday, 23 March 2023, in London.

Health survey launches for LGBTQ+ communities

LIVERPOOL City Council is working with local charity Sahir House and a range of partners to undertake a health needs assessment with LGBTQ+ communities to better understand their experiences and the health inequalities they face.

To coincide with LGBTQ+ history month, Liverpool is launching its first dedicated health needs assessment (survey) for local LGBTQ+ people.

National evidence shows that LGBTQ+ people (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace) face inequalities relating to health and wellbeing throughout their lives; including:- barriers to accessing healthcare services.

A 2018 Stonewall survey also found that half of LGBTQ+ people had experienced depression in the previous year, and that a quarter of people had witnessed discrimination by healthcare staff.

The survey, which is the first for Liverpool will incorporate information from a range of sources, including national level evidence and data from the 2021 census.

The key findings will be used to design focus groups and explore the key issues identified in more depth.

It will also support Liverpool's commitment to the UNICEF Child Friendly City Programme and champion the needs of LGBTQ+ children.

All of the information gathered will be used to make recommendations for the Council, partners and stakeholders in order to improve services across the City.

The survey is open until:- Monday, 3 April 2023 and LGBTQ+ people aged 16 and over are encouraged to take part here.

Cabinet Member for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Councillor Pam Thomas said:- "We've launched at the end of LGBTQ+ history month to remind everyone of the discrimination and inequalities LGBTQ+ people faced under Section 28 legislation. Every February, as part of a month long celebration, the UK marks the abolition of the laws that prohibited the promotion of homosexuality" by Local Authorities and Schools. The Liverpool City Council Plan for 2022-2025 sets out the City's commitment to equality and inclusion. Through this survey and a series of listening sessions recommended to us by the Navajo Merseyside Charter Mark, the Council will be supported in achieving these aims."

Director of Public Health for Liverpool, Professor Matthew Ashton said:- "Research has shown that LGBTQ+ communities have a greater risk of poor mental and physical health and that there is a lack of adequate knowledge and support for them within the healthcare system. Through this health needs assessment, we will better understand how well we engage and provide for this population and gain crucial insight into their experiences of services and the barriers they face in accessing good health care."

Sahir House CEO, Ant Hopkinson said:- "The focus here is to ensure that nobody within our LGBTQ+ community faces any discrimination or stigma when accessing services and that we place equity and reducing inequalities at the heart of the partnership work on this agenda. The more people who come forward to complete our survey, the more chance we have of ensuring fully inclusive offers across the City. Sahir House will also assist with the next phase of detailed engagement, which will incorporate focus groups and interviews with our LGBTQ+ community to authentically engage and understand how we can remove some of the barriers they face."

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