The Fantastic Four!


Presenting Quiana, Kealy-May, Amy & Liam – the Fantastic Four also known as Growing Talent 15 Associates!


Kealy-May & Quiana are joining Harrow Green – Kealy-May as Finance and MoD Assistant and Quiana as Bids & Tenders Assistant.  Amy joins Pertemps at Holborn as trainee Resourcer and Liam joins MitieConnect as Fulfilment Assistant.


25-29 September was the Orientation Week at Southwark Cathedral.  The aim of this is to give a kick-start to self-esteem and confidence, insider tips and knowledge on how to impress in the workplace and secure the permanent role on offer.


On Monday we kicked off with an interactive Personal Image  workshop from Julie of Portico.

After a few technical hitches, Julie showed some ‘how not to’ do customer service along with some top tips on how to do it right.


On Tuesday we covered the basics of communication, modes to use, what to be careful of, tone, personal space etc.  Some exercises on analysing our existing support networks and assertiveness along with stress management techniques. Then came the brainstorming on social enterprise ideas.  Some great ideas flowed around the room – all ‘off the cuff’!


Rehana joined us to share her experience as a Growing Talent Associate on the 7th programme  – see her centre of the photo below.  She also agreed to return on Friday and be a judge for the Social Enterprise Challenge!  Nothing like a ‘friendly face’ on the judging panel.  Since completing Growing Talent, Rehana has been working at Portico and is currently involved in designing the Growing Talent poster campaign for 2018!


Wednesday saw Jade from CCF visit to deliver a 2 hour workshop on communication and how to do it better.

Jade started off with an exercise to highlight the importance of negotiation and compromise in the workplace using an exercise of working in pairs and devising a holiday of a lifetime’s itinerary.


Thursday saw Lesley from PwC join us to share some invaluable tips on keeping healthy at work called – 3Rs – Refuel, Renewal & Rejuvinate!  No excuse for that afternoon slump at work now Associates!!!!


After Lesley’s presentation it was more practice, practice, practice of the four innovative ideas the guys had come up with to present to the judges.  After some final ‘fine tuning’ all were ready to present their ideas on Friday….



The judges l-r were Anna – JobCentre Plus, Shanika – Harrow Green, Allen – PwC & Chair, Dan – MitieConnect, Pedro, Pertemps and Rehana, Portico…..




Quiana was first to present.  Her project was Helping Hand.  Based in Croydon, she has a previously void house that local single parents redecorated and learnt the skills from tradespeople to change it from residential to a community drop in centre for new single parents supported by those that had been in their position.  Learning new skills in facilities for potential onward learning as well as securing a strong network of support would deliver integration.  Children otherwise isolated due to their parents circumstances would have social connections.  Monthly themed nights to focus on food, culture and music of different community cultures would integrate reducing local crime and isolation stats.  Part of the garden would be used to grow vegetables and the local college supply a nutritionist to help with easy recipes etc.  Revenue would come from selling the food grown.  Over 10 years, Quiana hope to repeat this in multiple local boroughs.


Liam, seen above was second up.  A concise presentation on using impounded cars to generate revenue and skills.  A local garage in Sutton would teach excluded youth from the local secondary school how to repair or strip a car for spare parts.  All cars would be donated by the Police and the money raised would go back into the business.  Overtime, other garages could use the template to repeat this format.  This would enable people to see a different way to support themselves maybe even encouraging them to go to college or start their own businesses.



Third up was Kealy-May with her idea called ‘Off The Streets’ .  The core of Kealy’s idea was to give young people a place to belong,  Focussing on a youth club, sports would be offered as an incentive to attend.  The club would offer bespoke counselling, there would be off site visits and experiences such as historical palaces, art galleries etc.  Pushing the boundaries of expectation.


Finally it was last but not least – Amy’s turn!  Delivering J.O.Y – Just Older Youth – a great idea and imagery.  This focussed on a centre in Sittingbourne where members would be collected locally and driven to and from for social activities such as knitting, crochet, board games etc.  Amy also planned to bring young people in to learn these traditional crafts from the older generation – crucial where people are separated from their families – equally the young people would teach their older peers who to use Skype, E-mail etc.  The revenue stream would come from membership fees.


Despite just four short ideas to judge, they were almost at deadlock!  Finally, the judges decided Quiana’s idea was unique and awarded her the sought after cash prize of £10!  Allen of PwC makes the presentation below…..



So what did the Fantastic Four think of their Orientation Week?:


‘It has allowed me to network, meet other associates, gain confidence and prepare for the world of work’.

‘It has helped me boost my confidence’

‘I really learned a lot about myself’

‘It really prepares you and reduces your nerves for going into work’


Check back to see how the guys get on………