Following a six year break from the workplace Carmelle Allen was keen to start building a new career and approached the GRoW Programme for help.
Carmelle said “My son had just started attending school full-time and I really wanted to get back out there and meet new people, especially some of the school mums to start building a network again and improve my confidence. When you have a child and have a few years out you can feel a little rusty.
“I had stopped work in 2012 and had quite a lot of experience in different roles including admin and sales but I had always worked in London and wanted a change. I wanted to work more locally and during term time so I could be there for my son in school holidays and I wanted a career change, something I could perhaps do from home.
“I went along to the GRoW Programme being held at my son’s school which was opposite my house and I never looked back. It really helped me get to know people, in fact I even met a lady that lives next door to me and I had never met her before! The activities were great for building my confidence. I was really nervous because they got me speaking out loud in front of people and I hadn’t done it in a long time but it really did help boost my confidence.
“What was really interesting at the GRoW Programme was that it became really clear that the skills I had learned at home being a mum were transferrable to the workforce. I also got help with my cv to help tailor it to the type of work I wanted. I had started a course on Child Care at the same time I was attending GRoW and Liz Sewell helped me to get a volunteering position at my son’s school. I had already applied to them but as I hadn’t heard anything from them Liz contacted them and put in a good word for me. Liz’s input made a massive difference because they called me the same day and asked me to come in. Once my DBS came back over the school holidays I started volunteering at the start of the new school term in September and I was really lucky as a position came up to work on Reception. I applied online and got the job!
“The volunteering experienced really helped me get the position and it’s all working out so well. It’s just 4 minutes walk from my home and I’m still volunteering on Fridays in the Nursery too. As well as my Receptionist position the school have also asked me to work as a Learning Support Assistant in the mornings to provide 1:1 assistance to an autistic child. This is great experience for me and when I complete my Level 3 Child Care course I am planning to do a Teaching Assistant course to become a qualified TA. I’m so grateful to Liz and the GRoW team for everything they’ve done.”