Holistic Week – Growing Talent 21


As you can see from the blog below, the first two days of the Holistic Week are spent qualifying as Mental Health First Aiders. Intense. The rest of the week is just the Growing Talent Associates – no managers – learning some soft skills around fitness, nutrition, waste and recycling, art, kitchen techniques, cv knowhow and some other bits and pieces!

Wednesday kicked off with ‘Hippy Dippy’ named after Growing Talent Associates on the 2nd programme as it covered different knowledge which doesn’t fit into a standard heading.

Learning which brain to use and how to use it – is crucial in communication whether at work or at home! Who knew we had more than one brain?

Wednesday after lunch the guys go off to the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery at Trafalgar Square to do part one of their art project. this entails finding a piece of work that ‘speaks’ to them – good or bad then completing a short questionnaire:

  1. The name of the piece
  2. How did the piece make you feel?
  3. What would you ask the artist if you could

All picked diverse pieces. What they didn’t realise is they would be drawing these in part two of the art project on Thursday!

Above are Amar, Adeyinka, Navin, Charlie-Ray, Robert, Katrina & Natasha – Heaven, Bernie and Kelly were unable to attend.

On Thursday morning we start by learning cartoon character drawing techniques from a great Ted film by Graham Shaw. Then, with confidence, the guys draw the pieces they selected on their visit to the Gallery yesterday!

Some of the guys were really surprised by how much they enjoyed making their brains switch off by drawing – a lesson we could all use during our breaks at work!

Did we have any converts to art?

“The art class showed me I can actually draw!”

‘It took me out of my comfort zone and made me address my arts phobia”

“Was so relaxing and since the art class I have started to draw more when feeling stressed. I find it really helpful”

“Doodling can be quite relaxing and improve my concentration”

“This was so much fun and relaxing”

“It was fun and a blast”

“Showed me how to use art as a way to remove negative emotions and make something beautiful”

‘So relaxing”

“The art class was great fun. It was relaxing and will be using the tasks on my lunch breaks”

‘This is something I can do during my lunch break”

Talking Money!

One of the key topics on the Holistic Week. This is about learning together, sharing experiences and learning something new! Looking at bank accounts, savings, credit cards, debt management and so on to ensure we utilise the money we earn!

What did the guys think of this?

“I didn’t know some of the different bank accounts and I like the 50/30/20 split to save money”

“I learnt how important it is to check with my bank before linking any of the financial apps to my account and also the different times to consider using different payment methods”

“I learnt how to save better”

‘I learnt so much and now know what I should consider”

“This is key to everyday life”

“I’ve always found it hard to budget and save – this will help a lot. I now know the difference between Standing Orders and Direct Debits”

‘This is essential as it shows how to manage money better”

‘I learnt a lot about making y finances work for me”

Fitness on a Budget & @ Work!

Taking all the knowledge the Growing Talent Associates have learnt over the week, their task was to produce a magazine with key features on fitness and nutrition – on a budget now using expensive memberships or gimmicks!!!

How did they do?

Here’s Navin and Katrina explaining their ideas….

Natasha and Charlie-Ray brainstorming their ideas

Amar and Robert decided to do a front and back magazine cover!

Shennell partnering Adeyinka delivering their ideas featuring lots of ladders for progression!

Charlie-Ray got in the spirit of fitness by showcasing clap push-ups from his Army cadet days!

Looking good at the start…….

Charlie-Ray – exhausted after just a few clap press-ups but what a superstar for giving it a go!

Just before lunch on Friday we had Kate from @HBN delivering:

Nutrition on a Budget!

Kate has been delivering this workshop since the beginning addressing any fads and specific issues they guys have.

Today’s practical was a nutritional Pot Noodle – who would have thought there was such a thing! But there is and it’s cheap too.

Kate explaining the technique which can be adapted for any grains, lentils, couscous etc – the options are endless with fresh, frozen and tinned vegetables, herbs and spices!

So what did the guys think of this two hour nutritional know how?:

‘Vital in our personal and work life’

“It gave me lots of ideas on how to make quick and healthy lunches for work saving time and money”

“Different types of healthy food are good for you”

“I learnt about food groups, portion control and how to balance healthy and naughty things for a good balanced diet”

“Nutrition is essential in living a healthy life”

“I learnt a lot to improve my health”

“I knew a lot already but it was good to be reminded!’

‘Some great budget and health options”

We shared some ideas of waste and recycling – the differences between our local borough councils – especially comparing flats to houses and the differences between our employers – some recycle everything others very little!

Now we’re almost at the end, would the guys go back to the beginning and still apply?

“Oh hell YES”

“I would do it again and again. Jane is a great trainer and has helped me with my confidence and knowledge”

“Hell YEAH – Jane was great”



“Hell yes without a shadow of a doubt”



“Yes, Yes and Yes”

“I would most definitely do it again in a heartbeat”

Fantastic feedback. We wish all Growing Talent 21 Associates the best of everything moving forward into their careers.

Check back to see how they progress….