Experiences of a ‘Welfare-to-Work’ Scheme/ Lewisham Strategic Partnership


Another one of our older, yet still relevant projects. This project explored people’s experiences of the Welfare-To-Work system in Lewisham. Previous mapping of the provisions to help people into sustainable employment revealed a complex, cluttered marketplace. The proliferation of many different funding streams, projects, and programmes targeting the same citizens, had little overall co-ordination. This meant a series of incoherent and repetitive support pathways for the customer. As such, the client wanted to know: what have been the experiences of people accessing the welfare-to-work scheme? And what would help improve those experiences and the employment outcomes?


In this ethnographic study, we spent time with five different participants, to explore and document a meaningful picture of their journeys back to work from long-term unemployment. The resulting ten-minute film complemented a written report by the Office for Public Management (now called Traverse). Further details of the report can be found here.


“You were responsive to deal with, and able to build honest, trusting relationships with a range of people, providing a safe place for them to share their views and experiences. The work helped us to get under the skin of the issue and informed a successful national pilot that we carried out in Lewisham.”

Joel Hartfield – Principal Policy & Projects Officer, LSP