Project funds extended

INWORK: Team members Lynn Finn (left) and Julia Pinchen
INWORK: Team members Lynn Finn (left) and Julia Pinchen

A PROJECT to help small and medium-sized firms in the Tees Valley whose staff are struggling to remain in work due to health or personal problems has been extended for another year.

The Tees Valley InWork Support Project (TVIWSP), which is led by Hartlepool Borough Council, was set up in spring last year to help employers and employees who are affected by health or social issues such as housing difficulties, stress-related matters or the responsibility of caring for a family member.

The project was due to end in March this year, but it will now continue until March 2012 thanks to funding from NHS Hartlepool and the other three Primary Care Trusts on Teesside.

Julia Pinchen, TVIWSP project co-ordinator, said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue for another full year as to date we have helped more than 130 people.

“A good example is the case of a young man in his 20s who was working full time and was also the sole carer for his grandmother who lived with him and had health and mobility problems.

“Though he was doing his best, the two responsibilities were taking their toll and affecting his health and work so his employer contacted the TVIWSP team.

“We were able to put the young man in touch with his local carers’ support group, which is giving him a lot of advice, friendship and support.

“His grandmother also received funding help for adaptations needed to make her life easier around the house and they both receive regular respite care. They were also given advice to make sure they were claiming their right benefit entitlements.

“The young man is now settled at work, is very happy with the support they are receiving and feels reassured about his grandmother’s future.”

For more information about the TVIWSP, call 0300 303 1184 or visit