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Big Issue invests in mental health employment support

An organisation that aims to support over 300 people with severe mental health problems enter the workplace across multiple London boroughs has received investment through an outcomes-based contract from Big Issue Invest’s (BII) Outcomes Investment Fund.

BII, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, made the £227,000 investment into the Mental Health and Employment Partnership (“MHEP”) last month.

The £227,000 that has been committed by BII will support people, in the London boroughs of Haringey and Barnet, who without intensive support are statistically unlikely to enter the job market.

The delivery provider, Twining Enterprise has over 20 years’ experience in providing employment support, advice and guidance to people with mental health issues.

The £670k contract is expected to help over 300 people with mental health issues secure employment over the next two years, using the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model. IPS combines intensive support for the individual with an up-front job search leading to paid employment and in-work support from an Employment Specialist.

Based on 20 years of research, the IPS employment model is internationally recognised as the most effective way to support people with mental health problems and/or addictions to gain and keep paid employment.[1]  NHS England aim to double the access to IPS services by 2020/21[2] in recognition of the benefit these services can provide. It is expected that MHEP will support the engagement of over 1,000 individuals in the next year.

BII has invested separately into MHEP on two previous occasions, into the mental health intervention and into addictions recovery (via the West London Alliance)[3].

Lars Hagelmann, Investment Director at BII, said:

We are delighted to continue our support of MHEP and facilitate the scaling of an incredibly powerful intervention, helping those struggling with their mental health into meaningful employment.

Oli Jacobs, Twining CEO said:

We are delighted to be working with Mental Health and Employment Partnership, with funding from Big Issue Invest, to deliver this contract in Barnet and Haringey.

The funding will enable us to support 343 Barnet and Haringey residents over the next two years to help get into work, build their confidence and boost their self-esteem and motivation to work.

We will work closely with the clinical team on the ground to make sure that employment plays a pivotal part in the recovery of our service users.

The Outcomes Investment Fund was launched by Big Issue Invest in May 2017 with an investment of £10 million from Big Society Capital. The Outcomes Investment Fund, Big Issue Invest’s third social investment fund, makes investments into charities and social enterprises delivering payment by results contracts, where some or all of the contract payments are dependent on achieving social outcomes set by the public sector commissioner.

Payment by results contracts are a growing source of revenue for many charities and social enterprises and the Outcomes Investment Fund was developed to provide fit-for-purpose funding to support their delivery.

The return on the Fund’s investments is linked to the success of the underlying contracts in achieving these outcomes, and Big Issue Invest provides management support to its investees.

Applications for OIF are still open for potential investees. For more information, write to, or apply at .

Image: Big Issue Invest

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.