The end of Growing Talent for 2019

Our Graduation on 16 December marks the closure of Growing Talent for 2019.  Thanks to the funders, it will be back in 2020 with 6 new programmes confirmed.

 

As we approach closure of this year, I reflect back on the trials and triumphs of 2019 for Growing Talent.

First the trials!

January 2019 we kicked off with the new format of Growing Talent – reducing down the time spent training in the vacant role with the employer from 10 weeks to four.  The Orientation and Holistic weeks remain the same. This has caused a few concerns.  For those people who have multiple barriers to employment, four weeks isn’t always long enough to grow in confidence to be sure the end role is the right role.

JobCentre Plus has been restructured with leads who knew Growing Talent well moved to different roles.  This has meant a vastly reduced support from East, West and North London districts.  Unfortunately, this meant we lost an excellent employer with great roles based around the M25.

With the full roll out of Universal Credit, JobCentre Plus has little contact with unemployed people who just need a confidence boost.  Each JobCentre is authorised to display what posters they want.  With so many of their own Government programmes, Growing Talent posters were never put up!  Therefore, those people submitted by JobCentre Plus often have more barriers to overcome in their quest for employment.

 

Now the Triumphs! – which for me eclipse the trials!

From January – December 2019 we had 34 unemployed people start Growing talent from all social, educational backgrounds.  Out of these, 27 completed Growing Talent and secured their permanent jobs.

 

We had our first father and son success story!  Referred by a friend who secured their role on Growing Talent in 2018, Navin applied and secured his role with Mitie based at Embankment Place.  Navin introduced his dad Nalin to me.  A fascinating career with diverse experience including a long tenure supporting the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to London!  After multiple senior management roles, Nalin decided to retire.  When he realised it was too early and he wanted to return to work, he encountered employers looking at his past experience rather than what he wanted to do now.  After an introduction, Nalin started a night role as hotel manager with Club Quarters.  He told me last week he’s now secured the day role he wanted at another Club Quarters Hotel and is very happy!

 

Bernie who was on the same Growing Talent with Navin, wanted to go to Canada and see a bear.  He told me a few weeks back he’d achieved his dream.  Bumping into the Graduates of Growing Talent and seeing them achieve their goals and grow so much is awe inspiring.

 

I know from the feedback all participants give me at each stage of their journey, Growing Talent has literally changed their lives.

 

The triumphs far outweigh the trials!

 

Is this a good or bad thing? – Mental Health under 18s at NHS A&E

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/04/mental-health-young-people-in-crisis-waiting-hours-for-ae-help?dm_i=52KI,4EIF,1OHPLR,FT3K,1

 

The above feature in The Guardian by Young Minds shows 13,567 under 18s accessed A&E departments in England alone over the previous year.

 

This suggests a number of things to me:

 

Stigma – the core reason people didn’t reach out for help when they needed it seems to be rescinding.  People – especially young people see mental health on a par with physical health.  This is surely a good thing as they are no longer suffering alone in silence.

England only – the 13,000+ quoted by Young Minds of under 18s is for England only.  I find this startling thinking of what the overall figures would be for the entire Union of Britain.

Right place? – is a busy, noisy A&E environment the right place for someone with mental health issues?  Especially if they experience an average of four hour wait time as the feature states.

 

Overall, I believe the rising stats show people who are suffering are no longer holding back on seeking help due to stigma.  This shows how far we have come as part of humanity is busting the myths and stigma surrounding mental health.

 

There are a growing number of dedicated charities with bespoke experience in supporting all ages, backgrounds and cultures.  Some have 24/7 services including text lines or phone lines.  I think one of the key missing pieces of information is a knowledge of the applicable charities available.  These should be advertised everywhere – schools, colleges, doctors, dentists, opticians, supermarkets, job centre plus offices absolutely everywhere people go.  Giving people a menu of options enables them to select what might be the most suitable for them and reduce the pressure on A&E hospital services.

Some charities I know that might help you/those you know are below.  Why not keep a few in your mobile ? – you never know when you might need them:

 

Give Us a Shout – 24/7 Crisis Text time – text Shout to 85258

Young Minds – website with signposting resources for young people and their parents – http://www.youngminds.org

Place 2 Be – website – resources for school children – http://www.place2be.org.uk

Campaign Against Living Miserably – web chat and helpline manned 5pm-midnight http://www.thecalmzone.net