In early August 2016, data obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) under freedom of information were published, outlining a number of organisations involved in mandatory work placements. Mind was one of over 500 organisations to appear on the list. We now know that this data refers to organisations involved in placements in 2011.
"We were very surprised and concerned to see that Mind was one of the organisations listed. We immediately contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for more detail about which local Mind(s) and/or Mind shop(s) it referred to, as well as the timeframes. They have not been able to provide information regarding individual local Minds or shops but we have ascertained that it relates to providers during the latter six months of 2011.
"Since early 2012, we have firmly and consistently reiterated to our network of local Minds (approximately 140 independent charities) and shops across England and Wales our position on mandatory unpaid work placements, which remains the same – we don't believe those found unfit for work should ever be forced to undertake such placements.
"Many thousands of people volunteer for Mind every day through our charity shops and local services, and we value enormously their commitment and hard work. We could not operate without them. Volunteers tell us how much they enjoy being involved with the charity and the potential to make a real difference to people's lives.
"Mind firmly believes that being a volunteer should be exactly that, something you choose willingly to give up your time to do. We share the concerns raised by some of our supporters about the principle of coercive volunteering and it is Mind's policy that we do not use mandatory placements."
We've heard from some of our supporters that they are concerned about our involvement in the the governments back to work schemes.
You can find all our statements on this issue, as well as our campaigning work on our back to work support page.