Well, the sun was shining, despite the rain. Margo Baxter, whirlwind employment consultant with DWP, invited me to learn about a brilliant project bringing together all support in the local area. This includes the church, holistic therapists, nutritionists, employers, food banks etc.
Having worked with Margo years ago, I knew she didn’t exaggerate. If she says something’s brilliant, it generally is!
Based at the Bobby Moore Pavillion BDCA (Bonny Downs Community Association) galvanised help and funding to mow the 9 acre site to enable sports to be played again bringing fitness and focus to local people. The community partners worked together to develop a community garden where local families grow and harvest together giving fresh veg to the local foodbank, a mini gym – even has a compost toilet! An IT hub enables job applications to be made and Rhona delivers a programme on how to live on £14 per week nutritionally – no Happy Meals as a cheap option from McDonalds but very happy meals with families cooking together.
Adewola runs a brilliant project in getting parents back to work with tough love.
It was strange to peek into the holistic room which was darkened with soothing music and people sitting/lying with orange needles in their ears! Very strange, but I’m told it works.
An invigorating programme of activity which hangs on a knife edge due to funding.
A blueprint for others to follow…..
The Employer Assessments and Selection process saw seven people selected leaving 10 jobs unfilled.
The seven are thriving with their mentors on site at Sheridan Maine – learning recruitment, Harrow Green – learning business moves and bid writing!, Aramark understanding customer service and bookings, Portico learning front of house operations and design with Mitie TDM in Manchester.
Bonds have already been built with a lot of support between the guys – Andy, Kavita, Mo, Ariane, Madi, Adeola, & Matt. Currently planning and booking the Latimer Vibe experience in November. Can’t wait to see the manuals in print!
This number may increase with three of the guys who weren’t selected going forward for new jobs tomorrow – potentially some late joiners!
To ensure we don’t have unfilled places again, we’re exploring advertisements as well as liaising with housing associations, community centres and colleages. Senior management meeting planned for December with JobCentre Plus as well.
Very exciting times.