New Beginnings……………


Growing Talent 8 Orientation Week began with 19 strangers in the room and ended with strong, trusted friends.


From diverse backgrounds Charlene, Chris C, Chris R, Dan, Jack, Jamie, Joe, Josh, Julie, Krupita, Mick, Nathan, Rebecca, Richard, Rosa, Ruby, Sadeeq, Tina and Tom came together in Dickens Room at De Vere’s Holborn Bars venue not knowing each other nor what they would be doing.   They only knew the companies they were joining and the end roles.


All had a few things in common

  1.    Courage to take a leap of faith in joining Growing Talent
  2.    Open minds – willing to do any task assigned
  3.    Integrity and commitment
  4.   Willing to trust


Of course, they had bags of tenacity to get through the multiple stages of selection to secure their place on Growing Talent!


Monday was spent getting to know each other.  Not easy when the first task is to draw and present your life in pictures!  Some hysterical presentations followed not least mine – art is not my strong point!  Along with laughter came a few tears – short lived due to the comaraderie in the room.  The day ended with brain storming some ideas on a Social Enterprise presentaton the guys had to deliver on Friday.


Tuesday saw Lesley Davies arrive to give her Renewal, Rejuvinate & Refresh workshop.

Lesley Davies 3 rs

This is a powerhouse of information on nutrition choices, top tips to stay healthy at work and how to work smarter and healthier!  An interesting part was how many ingredients and calories are in the standard things we buy during our working day.  The Starbucks coffee and blueberry muffin came to half a day’s advised calorie intake – and the blueberry muffin had 40+ ingredients – yikes!  Where there is a shelf life, there are chemicals!  Home made is always best – and cheaper!


Wednesday saw Ben Noah join us from PwC to deliver his ‘Give Yourself The Edge Presentation’.  Focussing on personal grooming, body language and tone.  Ben stayed for lunch and shared his career journey.

Ben circulating

Ben chatting with Julie, Joe and Dan before the presentation started.


Bens practicalJPG

One of Ben’s practical sessions was in giving a verbal instruction to touch your chin while actually touching his cheek – amazing how we are open to subliminal suggestion with the amount of Associates touching their cheek instead of their chin!


Next was how our tone on the telephone can change depending how we are sitting, feeling, projecting our voice.  Yes, it was time for the blindfold test!


Blindfolds hav it

Some willing volunteers wore blindfolds whilst Ben read out a passage sitting in different positions.  The rest of the audience said whether they were right or not.  The were invariably right proving the point – body language counts even over the telephone!  Be warned!


Inbetween visits and workshops with senior managers like Lesley and Ben, we worked on communication, presentation style, motivation techniques, anxiety management skills and of course practice, practice, practice the Social Enterprise ideas!


The teams:


Helping Hands – a homeless outreach idea devised and delivered by Rebecca, Rose, Ruby and Nathan – all going to Iron Mountain. A two part idea comprising an outreach vehicle which could be adapted for homeless people to wash in, get clean clothes etc and an annual fundraiser.  Breaking barriers and integration – key points to this idea.



SilverCare – An integration idea for the elderly devised and delivered by – Julie, Dan, Sadeeq & Joe.  Julie & Dan join Portico, Sadeeq MitieTDM and Joe Harrow Green – bringing young and old together to learn from each other – simple yet potent idea.


Spray Your Way – an innovative art expression idea for grafitti artists devised and delivered by Josh, Krupita, Chris & Jamie.  Josh is joining Invest In Buy To Let, Krupita is joining Portico, Chris Harrow Green and Jamie is also joining Portico. Opening art opportunities to all with a platform to display and sell works in a gallery.



Circle of Life – delivered an innovative IT idea to bring the old and young together by Tina, Jack & Richard- all going to Harrow Green.  So many elderly people lose contact with their families as life gets in the way.  Young people are often ignored in the same way.  The old have life experience.  The young have strong IT skills bring them together for a powerful result. #LearningTogether


Next up was HairLine – a unique idea for cancer suffers and their carers from Tom, Mick and Charlene – all joining Harrow Green.  Charlene makes history as the first female porter Harrow Green have ever had! Losing hair = losing your self esteem and confidence.  Hairline’s idea gave ‘people back their lives for as long as they have it’ – powerful thought from the team.




Unconditional Love was the final idea presented by Chris Riley who is also joining Harrow Green!  This was an excellent idea to address the lack of support for children and young people who have lost someone.  Society has long thought children are resilient enough to cope.  Clearly this is not the case.  Angry children can grow into angry parents.  Unconditional Love breaks this cycle.




The judges were amazed the guys had come up with an idea, put themselves into teams, done the research and delivered their presentations with NO notes!  They had difficulty picking just one winner but evenutally elected Silver Care as the winners – seen below with Allen from PwC presenting their prize money


Winners Julie Sadeeq Dan and Joe

Over a buffet lunch the judges shared their career pathways with the Associates.  Seated in the main picture above are l-r – Michelle – Portico, Chloe – Iron Mountain, Sharon – wsh, Shane – Invest in Buy To Let, Julie – Portico, Allen – PwC, Michelle BASE, Sharon – Harrow Green & Nigel from JobCentre Plus.  All of the judges were amazed at the confidence growth of the Associates over just one week!


After some networking and top tips the judges left whilst the Growing Talent Associates finished off some paperwork.


After an intense week – what did the guys think?

‘I thoroughly enjoyed every part of this experience.  Thank you for believing in me.  I definitely recommend this programme to anyone’

‘This as the most exciting and brilliant experience, the confidence gained, relationships formed and overall learning experience’

‘Great a real confidence boost.  Can’t believe it left me so estatic.  I’ve now got a job waiting for me at the end.   Great opportunity’

‘I think it was brilliant.  Made me feel motivated again and show who I really am’

‘Definitely worth doing.  It’s fun and I have more confidence’

‘This experience has been fantastic’

‘Intense, interesting experience’

‘It’s a privilige to be accepted’

‘Growing Talent is great’

‘looking forward and upwards’

‘I am truely thankful to be part of this’

‘I was skeptical at first but it was the best week.  I built myself up from no confidence, and built my skills – we’re like a small family’

‘I will never forget this experience’


Isn’t it time you considered Growing Talent?