Successor to employee wellbeing scheme which helped thousands launching across West Wales

A successor service building on a North Wales community interest group’s ‘life changing’ workplace support scheme is preparing to launch in West Wales.


RCS is now inviting new referrals into the In-Work Support Service in the region, which offers free access to support and therapies for employees of SMEs or the self-employed.


Under the programme, assistance will be available for people who are currently, or at risk of becoming, absent from work with mental or physical ill-health, with the new service funded through an £8 million support package from the Welsh government.


RCS is set to start delivery across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire alongside a wider launch in North and Southwest Wales.


RCS will be working in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council to deliver the project in the region, and assist with reaching as many employees as possible under the new programme.


Ali Thomas, chief executive at RCS, said: “We are extremely proud to have been selected as one of three providers involved in the roll-out of the service across Wales.


“To have been involved in a very early pilot of the service in 2010 to the point of seeing a Welsh Government commitment to funding the provision pan-Wales is extremely exciting.


“In the aftermath of the pandemic, there is a greater need than ever for structures to support the physical and mental health of the nation’s workforce. Addressing health needs proactively and rapidly has always been key to our approach.


“Helping more than 1,000 employees and 46 businesses in the past year alone, it’s clear there’s a growing demand for this kind of initiative in Wales, and we are looking forward to delivering this service on a larger scale than ever before.”


Under the new service, each recipient receives support tailored to their individual needs, ranging from counselling and stress management to physiotherapy and osteopathy, with support available face-to-face or remotely as preferred.


The programme will be available across all of Wales, with RCS delivering the service in North, West, and Southwest Wales, while Case UK and Powys Mind will provide the service in other regions of Wales.


The scheme builds on a previous programme, part-funded by European Social Funding, which RCS delivered across North and West Wales from their base in Rhyl.


The impact of the original service, which helped more than 7,500 employees and 600 SME employers between 2015 and 2022, was key to highlighting the viability of a continuation programme across all of Wales.


The programme saw three quarters of all clients achieve a health improvement within four weeks, with 59 per cent of absentees returning to work after a period of absence.


One employee who benefitted from the support is Llandudno retail manager Vicci Stebbings, whose severe nerve pains impacted her physical and mental health, taking a toll on her career.


Vicci was referred to RCS by her GP as she was unable to carry out daily duties such as lifting deliveries, and with a lack of sleep as a result of the pain, she felt overcome when it came to supporting her team.


She said: “When I was put into contact with RCS, I couldn’t believe how seamless and quick the process was; within six days of my first phone call, I was at my first physio appointment. It was completely life changing.


“The team had so much time for me, not just on my initial referral call, but they continued to check in on me even after the sessions ended. Having everything explained to me from the get-go also gave me a sense of control again.


“The attention to detail was second-to-none and I was made to feel comfortable with every aspect of the process, with RCS even organising the physiotherapy to be directly on my daily route.


“I saw improvements to my sleep as early as the second session and thanks to the physio, I have returned to full capacity at work. The support even provided relief to my historic back pain, so I can’t thank RCS enough for its care and attention.”


Ali added: “Vicci is a shining example of how rapid support can help people stay mentally and physically healthy in work, and it’s stories like hers which showcase the importance of preventative services. ”


To find out more about RCS or to enquire about accessing its In-Work Support Service in your area, visit


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