Growing Talent & The Minister for Education…..

I had an interesting call from the management of East London Job Centre Plus last night.  Damian Hinds MP and Minister for Employment had visited one of their sites to see how they are working with the unemployment on their journey back to work.

As luck would have it, Natasha was in the middle of doing a pre-screening session for Growing Talent.  This is an information session where unemployment people learn about Growing Talent and the potential opportunities it presents to them.

Impressed by the unique business-led mentoring forum which is Growing Talent, Damian asked Natasha and her manager Suk to send him some key details to present at The Sun employment roadshow at the Oval 28 June.

Hopefully more employers will be interested in this unique route to secure great talent within their business and get in touch.  110 people have secured permanent jobs through Growing Talent.  The unique point is, if all 146 people who started, had completed, they would all have gone into work.

The provisional job offer upfront, training and mentoring in the vacant role makes this a ‘no brainer’ for all.

Spreading the knowledge……..

Friday 23 June saw the delivery on the third in a series of MHFALite workshops for a global financial services organisation in London.  Places for a total of 60 people over the three workshops were well received.


MHFALite is the 3hour introduction to mental health first aid.  It is a short introduction to a big subject!  The course involves a lot of interaction, films and group work.  Having a table to work from is essential.


First potential pressure point – no table in the room!  The organiser had assumed all training rooms had tables in.  Unfortunately this room is used for non-interactive sessions!


Good humour was my tool of choice in ensuring the experience for the delegates was not diluted because of this.  Despite this hiccup, there was a lot of sharing experiences, issues at work and even some laughter.


A great session.  But what did the delegates think?


‘I will be more confident in knowing what to do.  I will also be more vocal when discussion the implementation of company policy in this area with senior management’.


‘Jane was authentic – added a real human touch’


‘I now have a list of resources handy and will be open minded when having conversations’


‘Helpful in identifying initial changes, language to use and addressing stigma’.


‘I now know what resources to access’.


‘Interesting to learn the link between physical and mental health’.


‘Jane was really passionate, pragmatic, realistic and knowledgeable’.


‘Really good course.  I would recommend it being made more available’.


‘An enormous amount of information to improve the business units approach in this area’.


‘One of the things I learnt was it’s ok to not get involved if I don’t feel comfortable’.


‘Jane was approachable, encouraging and knowledgable’.


‘Great course – wish everyone had the chance to do it’.


‘I learnt to focus on the small things – subtle changes – rather than be solution focussed’.


‘Brilliant course, well worth the investment in time.  Jane is great – makes this topic very accessible and has a great delivery.’


‘I loved the ALGEE framework which is easy to remember.’

What an honour!

Running Growing Talent, it’s my responsibility and privilege to mentor and support vulnerable people to successfully complete and secure the permanent job on offer – literally changing their lives.


Like most things we experience vulnerability is on a scale.  People on Growing Talent come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some will be very vulnerable others not so.


This support doesn’t end with the programme.  I continue to mentor and support long after the programme has finished.


It’s been a difficult few months for one graduate of the programme from seven programmes ago.  Still employed and doing well at work but experiencing some personal issues.  A pendulum of events and emotions over the past few months will continue a while longer.  I have no doubt the person concerned will conquer this period and be a much more empathetic force.


I am very proud to have received this award and know that I do make a difference.


We should follow Action for Happiness’s view on automatic living.  We bundle through live without actually living it.  Taking a breath to take in our surroundings and live in the moment is so key to our wellbeing and strength.  I personally believe affirmation every day and a reflective period on what we have done well at the end of each day boosts out self-esteem and positivity.


I’ll look at my award every now and then to remind myself I do make a difference and do a good job.  Why don’t you try it and see how your self-esteem increases?

Back to the polls…….

It is especially hard to make an informed choice of who should govern the UK.  Typically, the leaders and political parties have acted like playground children acting their shoe size rather than their age.


There has been no clear understanding of what each party stands for and zero strong leadership.


Campaigns have been dull and uninspiring.  Almost like some mediocre soap opera.


My one hope is everyone recognises the value of being able to vote and use it, especially women.  It’s easy to take for granted this right and forget women died so that future women would get the vote.


Don’t spoil voting papers or refuse to vote.  Use your vote to make the best possible choice you can from the information you have.