Shanti came to the Grow Programme last year after being referred from her job centre in Yeading in Hillingdon. Shanti had not worked in seven years and has little work experience. She is now looking forward to gaining experience to eventually find work as a Teaching Assistant.
Shanti said “After falling pregnant I hardly ever went out and was quite shut off from the world. Lockdown was very hard on my family and my partner left me to bring our son up on my own. It has been a difficult time and with all my family in Nepal I have felt quite alone. I really needed to move on and thankfully my Job Coach at the Job Centre put me in touch with GRoW.
I have really enjoyed the opportunities GRoW have presented to me – the Coffee Mornings in particular have been a great place to meet other people like myself. When you don’t have many people to speak to it’s easy to think you are the only person who has experienced difficulties but what I have learned through GRoW is that there are many people who are in a similar position to me and I can learn so much from them. I have been to all three of the Summer picnics that GRoW organised and all of the parents who attended them were so friendly. I felt so comfortable and happy around them and they were all so energised, talking about work and how they are reaching for their goals. It’s not something I have ever experienced before as there aren’t really any opportunities like this to talk to people about such things. When you meet new people and tell them what has happened in your life you can feel sometimes that you are being judged but at the GRoW Programme I have met many people with shared experiences, they are very kind and talk genuinely and respect what I’ve been through. It feels like home.
Now my son is six years old and in full time education I am ready to get back to work. I am thinking I would like to work in a school as a Teaching Assistant. I did an ESOL course in 2017 and now I am continuing with an English Level 1 course. I am also looking to get some volunteering experience hopefully in my son’s school soon. The GRoW Programme has given me so much. The people are so nice and my adviser Tosin is on the phone often 3 times a week. I went to the CV Workshop with Sonia and I did the GRoW Bootcamp which was so good I want to do it again in September.
Being on the GRoW Programme helps you to really think about who you are and what you have to offer, I would recommend GRoW to anyone like me who needs support to gain their independence again. I really don’t think there is anything else quite like it.”