Ebony joined the GRoW Programme after being given a leaflet from her Jobcentre that explained that GRoW helps mums get back to work. She had been out of work for 5 years to raise her youngest son and was looking at rejoining the workforce. Ebony has engaged with everything GRoW has offered her and is always looking to learn and do more.
Ebony said “I knew I needed to get back to work but I wasn’t sure where to start and how to approach it. When I joined GRoW I did the GRoW Your Own Business Sessions which was so inspiring. I had been thinking of setting up my own business making or white labelling and selling candles and when I went on GYOB it helped me learn about all the things I would need to do if I was to be self employed. Mostly I learned how important it is to make realistic plans and set small goals to give yourself time to achieve each thing before moving on to the next. It made me realise that I had a lot of thinking to do, in particular with regard to finances, before taking the plunge to do it. It hasn’t put me off though, far from it! Instead I am thinking about it realistically and plan to do re-do GYOB when I am in a better position to move forward with it.
As well as GYOB I did the GRoW Bootcamp which was absolutely fantastic because it helped to build my confidence which was something I was really struggling with – in fact I still do, but nowhere near as much.
I did the CV and Interview Workshops which really helped me to understand the skills I have and what jobs I can do. I started applying for jobs as soon as my CV was ready and I have been overwhelmed by the number of interviews I have been getting. I have attended interviews for all different types of jobs. I had an interview at the Airport, as well as a Kitchen Porter job at a restaurant, at a Travelodge and also for an admin assistant job. All were really interesting and I have been offered jobs following the interviews but unfortunately the hours don’t suit my family commitments. It hasn’t been a waste of time though as I have gained a lot of practical interview experience and a new found confidence which has come from being better prepared and better informed.
I am now doing a Level 3 ABM Teaching Assistant Course that grow introduced me to as I want to improve my chances of getting a job in a school. School jobs would be really well suited to me because I can work term time only which is better for my family. The training course takes 9 months to complete and I have to do some volunteering in a school setting as part of the training. I love doing the course and am finding it so enjoyable. I have already made an application to a school to do the volunteering and am just waiting to hear back from them.
Being part of GRoW I have come to learn that everything is possible and I don’t need everything right now. It allowed me to put things in perspective and to just breathe… Mostly it has made me feel like everything is going to be OK and that as long as I take one step at a time and put one foot in front of the other, that I will get there!
The main things I feel I have gained from being part of GRoW is confidence and security. I have learned that it is not the end of the world if something doesn’t happen within your exact timeframes and I now feel very positive about the future as I just feel everything is going to be OK. The GRoW team members are so upbeat and supportive and they really make a difference to how you feel. For example, they post motivational and inspirational messages on their app which help you change your mood and perspective, particularly if you’re having a bad day. If you’re feeling low it really raises your spirits to read something so uplifting. At their events they are so motivated and their attitude is contagious, you can’t help but feel more upbeat and motivated yourself. They always seem to be doing the right thing at the right time too, almost as if they are in sync with how you are feeling and thinking. It’s things like this that make so much difference and really spur you on to move forward.”