Stepping Stones

Thurrock Mind Services – Stepping Stones

Work can be very important to maintaining positive mental health. Many people wish to gain, or return to, employment after a period of mental ill health, and research shows that this can help promote recovery. However, sometimes they do not feel ready – this is where Stepping Stones can help as the service provides a ‘stepping stone’ towards employment for people who have suffered mental health problems by:

  • Offering a workplace style setting that helps them explore their work abilities in a supportive environment
  • Working with training providers to offer training and skills development to assist them
  • Encouraging them to work towards individual vocational goals, at their own pace, without fear of rejection

Trainees with Stepping Stones benefit by increasing their confidence and self-esteem, with a view to starting, or returning to, suitable work in the community.

How will Stepping Stones help me if I wish to return to work?

The service operates as a social enterprise business, growing and selling plants from the nursery and offering contract gardening support services to the community. Becoming a trainee with Stepping Stones does not mean you have to have an interest in gardening or horticulture as our Trainee Development Model will allow you to gain a broad and varied range of work related skills such as:

  • Universal Work Skills – necessary in most work settings:
    • Time-keeping, commitment and regular attendance
    • Self-management and personal planning
    • Team working and communication
    • Health and safety at work
    • Customer care and service
    • Marketing and Sales
  • Service Specific Work Skills – great if you would like to consider working in a nursery or garden centre:
    • Basic horticulture and gardening
    • Planning garden areas
    • Soil types, organic weed and pest control
    • Basic DIY and repairs
    • Care and choice of tools and equipment
  • Training – a range of opportunities:
    • Basic life skills such as reading and writing
    • Basic horticulture
    • City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture
  • Personal Development – helps you get ready to progress to work:
    • Increased confidence and self-esteem
    • A sense of value and self-worth
    • Taking responsibility
    • Basic social and life skills


Our partnership with Rethink

Thurrock Mind, through the Stepping Stones Service, works in partnership with Rethink to deliver the Thurrock element of their South Essex Employment Service for people with mental health problems. Further information about the Rethink South Essex Employment Service can be gained by contacting the Employment Services Manager for Basildon and Thurrock on 01268 555687.

I am interested in finding out more about Stepping Stones – what should I do? You can contact the Stepping Stones Manager on 01375 389780 to find out more or arrange a visit to the Service, or complete our Contact Us form.

How do I make a referral?

Referrals should be made by completing the Stepping Stones/Rethink Referral Form, which is available HERE. If you have any queries, wish to discuss the referral, or have any questions regarding the form please do not hesitate to contact the Service Manager on 01375 389780. Alternatively please complete our Contact Us form. Please do encourage your clients to arrange a visit to Stepping Stones to find out more about how the service can help them increase their skills and confidence to return to employment.