11th May 2021
By Kay Carter, Employment Team Support Officer at the Hillside Clubhouse
The aim of Hillside Clubhouse is to enable people with mental health issues to achieve their full potential in life be that through getting work, developing learning or being more active in their community but most importantly being happy and more confident and chasing and achieving their ambitions and dreams.
People who come to Hillside are members – not patients or users. We believe in removing those labels and barriers. Our members are our colleagues.
Often people associate mental health with darkness and hopelessness but our bright and buzzy Clubhouse on North Road is a beacon of positivity.
We bring hope, fun, confidence, relationships and structure and we also deliver specialist employment support in a range of other venues all over Islington (and Camden too).
We offer our members a daily experience that involves them entirely in the workings of the Clubhouse (known as the Workday Programme). The emphasis is on working side by side with each other as co-colleagues to fulfil the daily business functions of the Clubhouse – there’s a lot to do particularly as we also have an onsite catering operation and shop. The Workday Programme supports people to gain confidence, self-esteem and develop skills for life and work through volunteering on it while at the same time support workers will provide practical and emotional support to our members if they have any type of problem and support people to avoid crises.
Hillside also has a team of employment specialists through its Mental Health Working Islington project, so while members gain experience on the Workday Programme and will receive practical support with any issues or problems they also benefit from specialist 1 to 1 support to access work or training if that is a goal for them. Alternately Islington residents can also choose just to access standalone specialist employment support from the project if they wish.
We have enabled hundreds of people over the past few years into mainstream work, volunteering and training – many of these had never worked before.