Mental Health Matters have launched a new employment and wellbeing service for residents for Newcastle’s West End. The scheme which is being in partnership with JET aims to help people improve their well being and employment prospects.

Entitled Pathways Employment & Wellbeing Newcastle the project aims to support the region’s recovery from the pandemic. Lockdown has been tough on many people. Millions have lost their jobs and the number of people suffering with mental health issues has shot up. However, people from ethnic minorities have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic.

Not only are they more vulnerable to the disease, but they are more likely to experience to have lost their job or experienced financial difficulties. According to a recent report, the the drop in employment for ethnic minorities was 26 times higher than among the white population.

By providing help and support the team from Jet and Mental Health Matters hopes to improve wellbeing and help people secure sustained employment.

Jet specialises in helping asylum seekers, refugees and people from disadvantaged backgrounds secure employment and integrate with the community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures have disproportionally impacted upon certain parts of our community, including individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds,” said Jane Hughes, CEO of MHM. “We are incredibly proud to be able to work in partnership with JET, to not only support people to access work opportunities but to also support their wellbeing needs at such a difficult time.”

Julie Fernyhough, CEO of JET added: “Sadly, coronavirus has only exacerbated this and highlighted the inequalities even more. This additional support is critical in supporting the community to recover from COVID-19”.

The project is being delivered through a grant from The Newcastle Fund.