The Penn Foundation’s Wellspring Clubhouse celebrated 20 years of member employment with dinner and an evening of recognition held at the Calvary Church of Souderton on May 17th, 2018.
Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center is one of several community employers providing Transitional Employment (TE) opportunities for Clubhouse members. These 6-9 month positions offer a high level of support including training, coverage and ongoing support from Wellspring Clubhouse staff. At the end of the placement period, members may choose to try another TE position or move forward to a supported employment position with guidance from Clubhouse staff.
Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center was recognized for their commitment to providing employment for two Clubhouse members: Valerie Usner and Timothy Kinsey.
Valerie was one of the Wellspring Clubhouse members selected to speak during the evening’s program. She shared her inspirational story of being able to recover from an abusive work environment. With support of the Wellspring Clubhouse program and the safe work environment provided by Ivy Hill, she was able to rebuild her confidence and trust, return to a job, and find joy.
Valerie shared part of her experience with dinner guests – “At Ivy Hill, they showed me that I could work without being afraid in the work world. They were nice, kind people and fun to work for. If I needed help, they would be there for me. It was a pleasant experience in the work world.”
Ivy Hill is happy to have another Wellspring member in their employment now. Timothy Kinsey has been part of Ivy Hill since March. He is already building confidence that will help him in going back to work and returning to school. Tim described the importance of a safe environment such as Ivy Hill, “Ivy Hill stressed to me that I should work at my own pace – without pressure. I believe in this work 100% and if I ever have a million dollars, I’d give it all to Ivy Hill.”
Tim has watched others benefit from the Ivy Hill environment, including his stepdaughter, who participates in one of the Ivy Hill riding programs. He has noticed her improved confidence, enjoyment and smiles. Through Tim’s involvement with Ivy Hill, he has gained the financial stability to return to school and now has plans to become a pastor or counselor. He also said that he would like to volunteer at Ivy Hill in the future.
Wellspring Clubhouse is part of the Penn Foundation and is accredited by the Clubhouse International network. Clubhouses are organized as a support system for people dealing with mental health challenges. Wellspring offers a place where Clubhouse staff and its members work together as colleagues to not only run the program but to build the skills, confidence and relationships that will promote recovery, instill hope and regain control of their lives.