The final day of the Orientation Week – 4th generation dawned with some trepidation from the Growing Talent Associates. After preparation, planning, run through after run through the Social Enterprise Judging Panel had arrived!
Coffee and adrenaline flowed as did the nerves and bravado! at 10am the judges started to arrive – Jon Barnes – PwC, Simon Pratt – Portico, Greg Bramwell – Baxter Storey, Chloe Crudgington – Iron Mountain, Patti Sidhu – Pertemps and Jo Gadian – JCP. Armed with score sheets, questions and feedback, the panel listed intently to the three ideas:
A Better Place was the first to go. Sinead, Michael and Joshua delivered a sensitive presentation on rape and the social stigma for all involved. Next up was Growing Hope a knit of ideas based on the individual interests of Maxine – allotments, Daoud – football coaching, Jessica – dance classes for all ages and abilities and Selwyn in charge of transport. The third presentation by Kit, Jane, Courtney and Kaith was to develop a unified bike scheme in Ealing.
The panel had five minutes to decide the winning idea – but took over 20 – such was the calibre! Finally A Better Place was announced as the overall winner and Jon presented silver cups to team members.
Some judges comments taken from their score sheets include: ‘engaged immediately- great presentation’, ‘professional and passionate’, ‘great team support for each other’. To think the Growing Talent Associates had only known each other for a few short days!
Comments from the Associates themselves reflecting on Growing Talent so far:
‘Job seeking really knocks your confidence, so this is a great way to build people up again and make them feel worthy of work’
‘I am very happy to be on this programme, I feel very positive about the future’
‘I hope it continues’
‘Thank you for this great opportunity’
‘This scheme is brilliant – it helps us gain confidence’
‘Fantastic organisation and inspiring Growing Talent should replace all JobCentres’
‘This scheme has helped me and I know it has helped others’
‘This is a fantastic experience. It’s a really good way of gaining confidence and getting doors open for the future which we don’t usually believe can happen.’