Growing Talent 13…….


Initially 14 strong, we are now down to 13 following Matt’s entry into direct employment yesterday!  Quick work!


24 April saw a group of strangers enter Chapter Room at Southwark Cathedral.  They all had two things in common.  First, all had secured provisional job offers as Growing Talent Associates and second a shared degree of trepidation!  The latter quickly melted away as chatting, laughing and working together rose.  The week ended with friends walking out of the room with plans to stay in touch, encouraging each other.  So, what did they do on the Orientation Week?


This is designed to lower barriers and get people interacting with each other.  Work can be fun – if we let it!


Day one kicked off with the presentation everyone hates before they do it and then appreciates it afterwards!  ‘My Life In Pictures’.  Drawing key milestones of our life and talking about it affirms a number of things.  Amongst these are – we achieve more than we think we do and we all have difficult stages to go through.  The foundation of Growing Talent is then set.  In the afternoon we focussed on brainstorming social enterprise ideas.  Blue sky thinking!


Tuesday saw case studies, communication, body language workshops as well as support gap analysis, assertiveness investigation followed by a tour of the Cathedral by Linda.  The synergy between the people through the ages who grabbed the opportunity to create something not really knowing what they were doing at the time is close to Growing Talent Associates on their journey to work.


Wednesday saw two workshops from visiting managers.  One from Customer Care First where Jade focussed on communication in team situations involving lego! and Julie from Portico featuring a Give Yourself the Edge personal image.  Both crucial in the world of employment.


Rupert, Luke, Matthew & Jamie winners of Jade’s logo challenge!



Thursday saw lots of short ‘on the cuff’ presentations on everyday subjects – with no preparation – hysterical but effective.   We also had Peter and Shanika return to give a confidential chat on their experience of previous Growing Talent programmes and what’s happened to them since…..



Practice then ensued for the Social Enterprise ideas.

B.F.Z. – by Lisa who will be working with Baxter Storey.  Bullied Free Zone is close to Lisa’s heart following her son’s journey.  She devised an idea for a safe place for bullied children to meet – a cafe which would have therapists, outreach workers and support for parents.


5* was next delivered by Rupert.  A three month basketball academy for 12-13 year olds to build confidence, decision making etc.  At the end each young person would get a certificate and medal.


Michael & Natalie presented their business enterprise idea for 8-16year olds who would devise a business idea.  This would then be developed and marketed with the support of Michael & Natalie who would hold an annual jamboree to sell the products made.  This would give the participants a taste to start their own business.


Mary delivered a youth centre where problems could be talked through. Different therapies would be used such as cake making, art and so on as well as having specialists visit to support with all issues.  Mary even showed some of her own art work and spoke about how she felt when creating them.


Luke spoke about his wish for a facility to address mental health issues in children based on his own personal experience with his daughter – just 13.  Whilst resources are sparse for children, there’s very little information for their parents.


Nabiha & Zara presented Unity Apprentices – workshops for 11-15 year olds.  A help line, website and community psychology would give tailored support to enable young people to take control of their lives.


Zoe & Delia then presented their recycling/litter picking idea.  Joining the Duke of Edinburgh Award with community service to produce a volunteering award.  Put the pride back into your community!


Ride a Bike was presented by Zac for a cycle programme in Leyton.  The idea would be to teach how to ride a bike safely as well as basic maintenance – punctures etc.  This would lead into a cycling club with regular meetings to get people exercising and reducing pollution at the same time.


DoDo United devised by David based on his experience living in Mauritius.  With sponsorship from Harrow Green, David would get local people to make goal posts etc – teaching carpentry skills to lead to local employment.  After teaching football skills, he would arrange a league and bring  the young players to the UK to hopefully get international careers.


Jamie & Matthew presented a Computer hub tailored to deliver individual needs not just generic software.  Eventually growing to produce new letters, merchandise etc as a revenue stream.


The judges below – l-r:  Anna – JCP, Slywia – MitieConnect, Sharon – BaxterStorey, Jon – PwC, Leah – Portico – who won the award previously, Sharon – Harrow Green & Margo – JCP


After a lot of deliberation, the judges awarded Lisa the prize for her Bully Free Zone idea.


A networking lunch followed to round off the week before the Associates left for a well deserved relaxation over the bank holiday weekend before starting work 2 May!


Check back to see how they get on………