Yvonne Clarke, Managing Director - Pathways Community Interest Company

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company:Pathways Community Interest Company
Company Description:Pathways Community Interest Company seeks to make happier, healthier lives. Founded in 2006 by Yvonne Clarke Pathways CIC employs 22 people and has gained local, regional, national and international awards for supporting people with health conditions to move into/be retained in employment employment.
Nomination Category:Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category:Female Innovator of the Year – Government or Non-Profit –11 to 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Yvonne Clarke, Managing Director

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated woman since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Yvonne Clarke is a founder member of Pathways CIC, and Managing Director. Under Yvonne’s direction, Pathways is a multi-award winning not-for-profit organisation. Pathways mission is to improve health and wellbeing.

Unemployment and poor health typically lead to negative cycle of impacts for individuals, families and society more generally. The UK Government spends £13 billion per annum on health-related benefits. 62% of those claiming for 5 years plus. Yvonne believes enabling people of working age whom have health conditions, to move into jobs does reduce inequalities.

Yvonne believes Pathways needs to operate differently than traditional services. Yvonne ensures Pathways services cross organisational boundaries, providing holistic services to meet clients’ often complex and multifaceted biological, psychological and social needs. Pathways services are sequenced through negotiation with clients, that enable clients to take control of their lives and bring about lasting change.

Whilst Pathways is a small organisation with 22 employees (many with health conditions/previously unemployed), Yvonne has led Pathways to be recognised as a leader with regard to work and health. Pathways is a voluntary sector strategic partner to Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England.

Yvonne approached Manchester City Council and Health partners to fund the development of an innovative pilot programme to provide a GP service to bring people with health conditions into full employment and support them to lead productive lives.

What Yvonne led was a unique ‘Guidance Plus, and Fast Access to Services’ model delivered by Case Managers whom co-ordinate help to overcome all barriers to movement into work. The type of support includes:
• Assessment within 10 days of referral by a GP
• Advice and support for social issues including finance, housing, relationships, daily routines.
• Lifestyle support, mental wellbeing, self-care, addictive behaviours
• Employability and effective job search
• Increasing activation/motivation levels.
• Fast access to clinical services e.g. physiotherapy, psychological therapy
• Access to 200+ local support services to reduce the dependency on Pathways staff and support sustainability of outcomes for the future.

Key to the success has been Pathways working with GPs to be aware of how work is a health outcome. (Work is not a mandatory element of GP training in the UK).

Since July 2014,
• 350 people have accessed the service.
• 100% clients requiring physiotherapy/psychology accessed services within 3 working days, in comparison to NHS waiting time of 18 weeks-2 years+).
• 23% movement into employment in comparison to national employment rate of 2.2% for Manchester residents with health conditions.
• 98% of clients felt that the service helped them manage their health condition better.


The cost benefit analysis indicates £5.12 of public value returned for every £1 invested. Yvonne ensures Pathways demonstrates social value also. Yvonne has led Pathways to be identified in RBS SE100 as being in the top 5.1% of not-for-profit organisations in 2015 to measure/demonstrate Social Impact.

The service is now a strategic priority for Manchester. Work as a health outcome now cuts across key areas of Greater Manchester’s (GM) Devolution Agreement, with the service being developed to support GM’s twelve CCGs by December 2015;

Through Yvonne’s leadership, Pathways has seen 21% business growth in 2014-2015, and secured 46% growth for 2015-2016

Provide a brief biography of the nominated woman (up to 125 words):

Yvonne Clarke, Managing Director, Pathways Community Interest Company, strives to reduce inequalities and bringing about social change.

Yvonne was employed within the NHS for 20 years. She was Co-Director of Human Resources at Wolverhampton Healthcare Trust, and led the award winning Employment and Health Work-stream. On leaving the NHS she established Pathways CIC in 2006, in order to realise her vision.

Since founding Pathways, she has led a number of national pilots, including the Fit for Work programme which has informed the national Fit for Work service.

Yvonne has led Pathways CIC to be a multi-award winning organisation, being recognised locally, regionally and internationally. Yvonne gained the 2014 International Gold Award as Female Executive of the Year (Government or Non-Profit 11 to 2,500 Employees).