Submitted by Yue “Moon” Li, Shaw Trust
United Kingdom

The Work & Health Programme (WHP) is a welfare-to-work contract that Shaw Trust delivers on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in the United Kingdom, where the overall aim is to support participants referred to Shaw Trust via their liaisons at the job center plus put back into paid employment.

“The participants can present with a varied range of needs and personal issues, often which need to be addressed first before they can contemplate or even consider returning to work. Pro bono coaches, therefore, provide huge value on helping the participant manage their emotions and make plans for their future.”

—Yue “Moon” Li, coach

Since March of last year when the pandemic struck, Shaw Trust developed and launched a virtual pro bono coaching model where participants can access support and have meetings from the comfort of their homes via telephone or video conference call. At present, there are 63 active pro bono life coaches working for the virtual volunteer coaching program in Shaw Trust, and 1,583 coaching hours have been recorded from October 20 to May 21. 

Each month, approximately 300 participants were able to not only return to work, but were earning at a standard threshold and were able to remain working after leaving the coaching program.

“During the lockdown, Moon provided invaluable coaching to our participants via phone and video call. I can’t recommend and thank Moon enough for the time she has given and the difference she has made to the participants lives she has worked with, a number of whom may have never previously entertained the idea of Life Coach or even the finances to access it.”

—Jonathan Goodwin, volunteer coordinator at Shaw Trust