Pushpa joined the GRoW Programme in May 2023, looking for help to begin her journey to work. As a mother to two young children Pushpa wanted a term-time job that enabled her to fit work around her children. She attended the GRoW Preparing to Work in Schools programme at West Drayton Academy in Hillingdon and is currently undertaking a hospitality work placement at Belina GRoW.
Pushpa said: “I first came to GRoW when the team were delivering training at West Drayton Academy in Hillingdon. I was thinking about going back to work but was unsure about how to go about it. I have a Masters Degree in Agriculture from the Department of Agronomy in my home country of India and was originally looking for work related to my qualifications but there are not many opportunities in that field that are local to me. I have two young children and so I need to ensure my work fits around my family which is why I attended GRoW’s Preparing to Work in Schools Programme, to explore the idea of working as a Teaching Assistant. I have volunteered at a Childrens Centre and also worked in customer services with McDonalds and through the GRoW Programme I have attended many courses to improve my employability opportunities such as the CV and Interview Workshops. The GRoW Coffee Mornings have been particularly interesting and I have developed networks with agencies who are helping to support me in looking for local jobs.
I was really pleased when Liz Sewell, Director of the GRoW Programme selected me for a work placement, supporting GRoW with their #SuccessfulSummer23 Event programme. I was given the responsibility of helping to organise the GRoW Picnics, promoting the programme and helping on the hospitality side, arranging the activities for the children, providing refreshments, setting up the event and cleaning up afterwards. It was such a great event and everyone had a good time. We had almost 60 adults and children who came along for a fun day out and to meet the members of the GRoW Team in person. They had the opportunity to talk about any concerns they have as well as future plans and to get together in one place with other members of the GRoW Community to build friendships and networks. All the women were in similar situations so it was lovely to be able to informally chat and support each other. I arranged lots of the activities with the children and posted content on the GRoW App to encourage people to attend. It was great to have so many people there, sharing their stories and experiences about the GRoW Programme. We even had some of GRoW’s former participants in attendance who spoke about how GRoW helped them secure placements in schools and other jobs – it was very motivating and inspiring to hear how much they had grown and achieved.
Being on the Hospitality Work placement has given me more skills and experiences to add to my CV and my aim is to continue to apply for jobs and take advantage of the information that GRoW sends out on the app and the weekly Jobs Bulletins. Being part of GRoW has really boosted my confidence and having the GRoW App gives me access to a community which is really invaluable. I’m so pleased to be part of it.”