Romina came to GRoW at the beginning of May 2021 after she had lost her job at a hairdressing salon. Romina has engaged with all of GRoW’s events and activities and has recently started work as a Nursery Nurse.
Romina said “I finished University in Italy where I had achieved a Hair and Beauty qualification and had also been working for three years in a Nursery. When I came to the UK I didn’t feel very confident about my English speaking and thought it was a barrier to me finding a job in a school which is what I really wanted to do. I got a job working in a hairdressing salon but as a single parent I was finding it difficult to work the job around my children who are 5 and 6. I really wanted to find work in a school or nursery so that I could work term time. After I lost my job at the salon my Universal Credit coach put me in touch with GRoW and straight away I was really interested in making the most of what they had to offer.
I started attending the GRoW Coffee Mornings and I was learning so many different things. At the time I was studying to do a Level 3 in Childcare which I have now completed. Doing the course was really interesting but having the input of the GRoW Advisers and the other ladies who are on the GRoW Programme was so helpful. I started listening to them and how they were going about achieving things and it really built up my confidence. They made me see that every day I was making progress and that my English speaking was actually really good. As a single parent I was constantly worried about how I would work if I had no one to look after my children but GRoW gave me lots of advice around finding suitable childminders and it eased my mind, helping me see that I didn’t need to feel overwhelmed – they were with me every step of the way.
Everything GRoW invited me to attend I attended. Everything they suggested I do I did. I went to their CV Workshop where they helped me see what I needed to do to improve my CV. I went to their Job Searching events, the Preparing to Work in Schools programme and the GRoW Boot Camp with Mercedes Grant. All of the events were brilliant and I learned so much about myself, what I had to offer and how to promote myself. I was going to approx. 4 different GRoW events every week and they helped me see what I needed to change. At the Job Searching workshop they told me how to apply for a job, the keywords I should use, how to search and find what I was looking for. They didn’t do it for me, they taught me how to do it for myself and it was so helpful. Rather than wait for a suitable job to come up I decided to apply direct to Nurseries in my local area and it wasn’t long before I got an interview for a lunchtime supervisor position. Sonia, Kiran, Liz and Kaneez all helped me prepare for the interview by sending me questions that might come up and making me think about how I would approach it and how I would present myself.
Before I could go to the Interview a friend told me about a different Nursery Nurse position that had come up at the Nursery next door to my children’s school. Though it was a full-time position and I preferred part-time it was more suitable than just a bank lunchtime job. I approached the Nursery and ended up going for an interview with them instead which led to me being offered the job. The hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm and I take my children to the Nursery with me in the morning before they start school and they come to the Nursery when they finish their day and stay with me until 5.00pm. I feel so blessed and am so happy to have found the job I wanted so near to home and so convenient.
Through GRoW I have completed another course in Paediatric First Aid that was offered through their app which will help me in my job. I am just waiting for my certificate to come through. All of the support GRoW have given me has been fantastic. I wanted to take advantage of everything they had to offer and learn as much as I can. Even when I was on holiday I dialled in to the Zoom GRoW Bootcamp session just to listen to what Mercedes had to say.
All of the GRoW advisers responded whenever I needed something and were ready to help me. They always built me up and helped me see that eventually I would achieve what I wanted. I feel it was a real blessing to be part of this community.”