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Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Services 

About us

We work closely with clinical teams and local employers and provide ongoing, individualised support as well as benefits counselling.

The service is provided by the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust IPS Employment team and we pride ourselves on providing an individualised service to help find the right person for the right role.

Fernando Parra

Fernando Parra
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07770318005
Email: fernando.parra@ghc.nhs.uk

“I have worked in Employment Services for over 10 year and I have enjoyed my time helping people achieving their employment and professional goals. Before working in the Trust, I lived in Sydney Australia, where I worked for the Department of Health as a support worker helping disabled people. I also completed my Higher education and occupied more senior roles before leaving Australia. I like getting people jobs and help them staying in employment and I get a buzz when I hear someone has been successful after an interview. Mental health problems are debilitating and it can be very difficult to live with a long-term condition but I believe we can help individuals finding their way in life and support them to reach their full potential.

“I have enjoyed working with other services, particularly with colleges and training services as I have witnessed how important is to update your skills to achieve your goals in life. I have met many employers through the years and I also like getting involved in anything that might help individuals accomplish their objectives. We have a great and very experienced Team and we work well together. I hope we can keep helping people for many more years to come.”.

Hugo Poyser

Hugo Poyser
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07814047042
Email: hugo.poyser@ghc.nhs.uk

“I have worked in the field of mental health for the last 14 years. Prior to joining the NHS as an Employment Specialist, I worked in the voluntary sector in mental health day services. My role as a mental health worker over the years has covered everything from doing assessments, signposting, advocacy, attending CPA reviews and running therapeutic activities and providing one-to-ones.

“For the latter part of my work in the voluntary sector, my role was as a peer development worker, which involved supporting peer volunteers to run their own groups delivering activities for which they have a passion for. As part of this, I provided ongoing supervisions and coordinated the activity programme. I also assisted with the delivery of the peer volunteer training programme.

“I also had a close working relationship with the NHS Recovery College and linked many peer volunteers into the Journeys to Recovery course which is based on the CHIME Recovery model (Connect, Hope, Identity, Meaning, Empowerment).

“I am excited to be working in the mental health field with my central focus now being vocational support. The IPS model has shown that supporting adults with serious mental health conditions to secure meaningful paid employment is empowering to the individual in their recovery journey”.

Jamie Hamilton

Jamie Hamilton
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07970-898370
Email: james.hamilton@ghc.nhs.uk             

My name is Jamie Hamilton, I am an Employment Specialist for the Tewkesbury and Gloucester area.

“I have an Occupational Therapy background and my aim is to support you in your employment journey. Previously I worked with young people with Autism or learning disabilities to attain employability skills as well as work placements in sectors they are interested in. I have also worked in acute mental health settings supporting people with activities of daily living or meaningful activities to aid their recovery. I have experience of working in a chronic fatigue clinic facilitating programmes to enable people to successfully manage their condition.

“I have worked in a variety of settings for adults and children with physical or learning disabilities for over 20 years. In my spare time I enjoy a variety of sports, although I am more of a spectator rather than a player these days!”

Jane Triber

Jane Triber
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07964 871 531
Email: jane.triber@ghc.nhs.uk

“I have been working in Employment Services for over 5 years. I have a varied career history including in mental health, social services and supported living.

“I worked as an Independent Mental Health Act Advocate (IMHAA) for several years, supporting individuals who were often on a MHA section in hospital and they needed a voice regarding their treatment.

“I am passionate about supporting people to make their own choices towards their recovery. Employment is an integral part of this.”

Julie Panthin

Julie Panthin
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07970 279479
Email:  julie.panthin@ghc.nhs.uk

“I work within the Tewkesbury and Gloucester Community Mental Health Teams.   I have worked in Mental Health for a number of years and also have extensive social work experience within children and families and fostering and adoption.  I also ran my own business for 9 years as a fitness and nutrition coach both in London and Gloucestershire.

“I am passionate about supporting people to gain meaningful employment and believe that employment can add significant value to people lives and give them purpose, structure, enjoyment, learning, social interaction, skills, opportunities as well as an income and other added benefits. I enjoy working closely with my clients to help them to find the right job and believe that, with the proper support, the majority of people can find meaningful employment”.

Karen Hogarty-Hingston

Karen Hogarty-Hingston
Employment Specialist

Mobile 07790 555204
Email: karen.hogarty-hingston@ghc.nhs.uk

“I have worked in mental health in England for 20 years after relocating from South Africa 21 years ago. I am based in Cirencester and support clients with enduring mental health in the secondary services to get paid employment.

“Prior to this I worked at Hartpury University as the Student Welfare Manager and as a counsellor for 10 years, managing a team which consisted of counsellors, youth workers, peer mentors and the chaplain as well as providing individual counselling and advice for all students at the University.

“Before moving to England, I worked in a number of different professions across a number of different countries in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. These include: writing for newspapers, working in advertising, working as travel consultant, running a restaurant and as a property consultant.

“As well as having an abundance of mental health experience, I bring this diversity of job skills to assist my clients to be able to obtain paid jobs, as well as using that employment wisdom gained in the many different fields of work, to educate and work with employers to encourage them to support clients and make the necessary adjustments to enable them to stay in work.

“I am passionate about supporting people with managing their mental health and empowering them to be able to live the best life they can and in doing this also breaking the stigma around mental health in the work place.”

Kenneth Kwogyenga

Kenneth Kwogyenga
Lead Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07970 880285
Email: Kenneth.Kwogyenga@ghc.nhs.uk


“I am the Lead Employment Specialist of this esteemed team, comprising of highly qualified and specialised professionals with very rich experience from eclectic backgrounds. I have a lot of experience working within the statutory and the third Sector, including serving with Her Majesty’s Armed Forces as a British soldier. Furthermore, I spent so many years in the supported housing sector managing and empowering vulnerable military veterans overcome multiple complexities and challenges in their lives, not least unemployment, mental health difficulties, drug and substance misuse, family breakdown, alcohol abuse, navigating the criminal justice system, social isolation and homelessness.

“I enjoy learning, exploring new things and empowering people, which led me into studying mental health recovery and social inclusion. I have always been a keen advocate of the ‘Mental Health Recovery Model’ to which I strongly believe that a sense of personal resilience to adversities, the importance of having meaning, purpose and routine, of cultural practices and identity, social connectedness and resilient relationships, a sense of coherence and control, adaptability and resourcefulness, and importance of the natural environment, physical activity and spending time doing things we enjoy, aids in our mental health recovery journeys.

“I enjoy my role because I thrive in seeing my clients enjoy a fulfilling life by being able to secure and sustain competitive employment as a result of my input and support from the whole team, coupled with the support we offer to employers as a whole”.

Lisa Bailey


Lisa Bailey
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07900 052665
Email: lisa.bailey22@ghc.nhs.uk

“Throughout my working life I have experienced a diverse range of occupations; from chef and catering manager for a large pharmaceutical company which included managing and hiring staff, managing accounts, and business growth to gardener at a Military Cemetery requiring attention to detail and physical endurance.

“I have experienced challenging roles such as providing a welfare service to British and International Forces in Kosovo, where working conditions were difficult and limited resources meant a reliance on networking and relationship building. However, I also witnessed first-hand how employment underpins our lives through the hiring of local staff who had lost so much during the conflict.

“I went on to have a career within the fitness industry starting, as a gym instructor and progressing to personal trainer and specialist instructor within an Exercise Referral Scheme. I thoroughly enjoyed my role of delivering specialist exercise classes, working one to one with individuals looking to make positive lifestyle changes, developing projects; and networking with GP’s and stakeholders and engaging the local community.

“I then chose to go back to university, graduating with a degree in Occupational Therapy in 2018 and am currently in the last stages of an MSc in Rehabilitation. After university I worked for a mental health charity supporting people one to one on their recovery journey and delivering groups on managing mental health. When a temporary role for an Occupational Therapist became available at my local sub-acute community hospital I took the opportunity. A few months later I found myself working on the frontline during a pandemic and experienced the camaraderie and pride of being part of the NHS.

“Throughout my various job roles one thing has always stood out; the importance of work when it comes to good mental health. The right job not only brings us an income and independence but also offers social interaction, opportunities and empowerment. I followed this interest and now work as an Employment Specialist. I am looking forward to supporting individuals to find and retain their ideal job, so they too can experience the benefits of employment”.

Naomi Willmott

Naomi Willmott
Team Manager

Mobile: 07813 359595
Email: naomi.willmott@ghc.nhs.uk

“Prior to becoming the Team Manager, I was an Employment Specialist working in the Forest of Dean. I was able to understand the challenges of working in a rural location and impact this had on gaining employment. I worked alongside other organisations to try and pool resources.

“I am a Mental Health Nurse and started working for Gloucester Health and Care NHS Trust when I qualified in 2004.  I worked on an acute ward before working as a Bank nurse on the wards and an inpatient Occupational Therapy department. It was during my time in the Occupational Therapy department that I started to have an interest in employment.

“I enjoy my job and get great satisfaction from hearing of the challenges our clients have face and how many of them are able to overcome these with support from Employment Specialists. My own belief is that being in the right job role gives a sense of achievement, pride, opportunities as well as a challenge. The variety of the clients we work with and situations they face makes the work varied and interesting.

“I am fortunate to work in a team which have diverse staff from different backgrounds who are all able to bring unique skills and knowledge to the team”.


Tim Snapes

Tim Snapes
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07810 831748
Email: Tim.Snapes@ghc.nhs.uk

I am an experienced IPS Employment Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in various industries including the hospital, wellbeing and health care industry including primary & secondary mental health, coupled with micro-business and SME start-ups and their development as IPS MSME Gloucestershire Team Champion.

“I am skilled in IBM SPSS, Microsoft applications, business & vocational coaching, coupled with executive & positive psychology coaching, basic CBT (IAPT) and CBC training, team building, public speaking and target achievement such as employment and retention and talent development and career progression.

“I am experienced in human behaviour, training and development professional with a MSc focused in Occupational Psychology which was accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS). I am also a full member of the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP, BPS).

“Other interests include Art & Design; overseas travel; national & international non-profit organisations (NPOs); Ethics & Humanistic Leadership in contemporary business”.

Vicky Vacara

Vicky Vacara
Employment Specialist

Mobile: 07816 224480
Email:  vicky.vacara@ghc.nhs.uk

“I have worked in the Care Industry for the last 30 years.  I have experience of working within both Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Services and I feel passionately that paid work or meaningful activity can significant contribute to a person’s recovery, wellbeing and self-esteem.

“I feel honoured to work as an Employment Specialist and I enjoy meeting clients and supporting them to achieve their work-related goals.

“My role also involves working with employers to ensure that the needs of people with Mental Health problems are considered within the work place. I endeavour for all employer contact to contribute to the ongoing breakdown of mental illness stigma within the work place.

“In my spare time I enjoy walking my dog, wild swimming and yoga”.

Lee Clifford

Lee Clifford
Team Administrator

Telephone: 01452 894865
Email: Lee.Clifford@ghc.nhs.uk

“I am proficient with several systems such as ESR, Centros and Microsoft Office packages, I provide administrative and IT support for the team. I have previously worked for the Wye Valley NHS Trust in Herefordshire. I started there when I was 18 years of age on a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship. Following the completion of my apprenticeship I was taken on full-time as an administrative assistant for the Education & Development Team.  I subsequently went on to complete NVQs in Business Administration Levels 3 and 4. I have over 10-years-experience in administration in the NHS.

“I joined the IPS Employment Service in March 2021. I wanted a new experience and being a part of a Mental Health service was something that really appealed to me. By helping people with Mental Health difficulties find or retain employment, the team are able to give a sense of purpose, wellbeing and routine to their lives. Employment can also provide a sense of social community and financial independence. All of these things are of great benefit to the individual and to the wider community. I found these qualities really commendable and really attracted me to the role.

“It is also wonderful to be a part of a team that is comprised of different backgrounds and a wealth of experience who can come together to make quality and compassionate service. I enjoy helping people and trying to make a positive difference to their lives (no matter how small) which is why I am proud to work for this team and the NHS in general”.

Contact us

Call 01452 894865

Looking for work?

Our IPS specialists provide advice and practical support to help our clients find employment and enjoy the benefits that brings.

If you are a working-age adult with a serious mental health illness and you currently receive support from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Secondary Mental Health Services, we can help you find paid part-time or full-time employment opportunities. We work closely with clinical teams and local employers and provide ongoing, individualised support as well as benefits counselling.

We know that the right employment can help with your recovery from a serious mental health illness, by providing financial stability, independence as well as opportunities to meet new people and be part of a team.  A structured, fulfilling day can help improve health and wellbeing and can build your self-esteem.

The service is provided by the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust IPS Employment Services and we pride ourselves on providing an individualised service to help find the right role for the right person, regardless of job experience.

We know that getting into employment can be a vital part of your recovery journey and our Employment Specialists work alongside psychiatric nurses, social workers and psychologists to help you get into work, to stay healthy and to retain the work.

We provide a range of practical support, including:  

  • Job searches
  • Support to write CVs, cover letters and personal statements
  • Support to access benefits advice
  • Support to apply for jobs and prepare for job interviews
  • Support to sustain and retain employment
  • Support to build confidence around returning to work

Start your career with IPS today

Employment should be part of getting better, not a result of getting better. If you are receiving treatment from the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust services such as the Assertive Outreach Team, Eating Disorder team, GRIP or the Recovery Team and are aged over 18 and willing to start an active job search for paid work within 4 weeks of your first IPS appointment, you can get a referral to our service from:

  • Your care coordinator
  • Your community psychiatric nurse
  • Your recovery worker
  • Your key worker

Looking for employees

We can help your business to be inclusive, socially responsible and to attract skilled, motivated, productive and conscientious workers.

If you are looking for conscientious, skilled workers and are committed to tackling discrimination in your workplace, we can help you.

Attracting talented individuals

Many people with a mental health issue have valuable work skills and experience and can manage their condition so it has no impact on their ability to do their job.

Ignorance, stigma and discrimination can be major obstacles for people with mental health issues, but with our support, our clients are productive and fulfilled employees.

Our Employment Specialists support clients and employers for as long as required. We work with employers to ensure you make the most of individuals’ skills and experience.

We can also help you comply with legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act plus we provide free work-based training and support in managing mental health.

It is a win-win as through our support, our clients are better able  to support your business, have increased productivity and reduced sickness rates. Your workforce may feel more supported and able to discuss issues and ideas with you!

How it works

We work closely with clinical teams and local employers and provide ongoing, individualised support as well as benefits counselling.

The service is provided by the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust IPS Employment team and we pride ourselves on providing an individualised service to help find the right person for the right role.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more, call our friendly team on 01452 894865

Locations for this service

Pullman Place