Heena was introduced to the GRoW Programme through her local Children’s Centre in Newham. Having not had a job before, but having a keen interest in working with children, Heena came to GRoW looking for information on how to get started once her daughter started Nursery.
Heena said: “I’ve just started volunteering at school, and last week marked my first day. It’s been quite a journey to get here, supported by the GRoW Programme. I joined the programme in February of this year, looking for motivation and a way to pursue my dream of becoming a Teaching Assistant. Being a mum, I knew this path would suit me well, as I enjoy working with children and have always played a very active role in supporting both of my children with their learning.
Before joining GRoW, I had no work experience as a teaching assistant or any job, for that matter. This was my first step towards employment. I started with a Level 1 childcare course in college, and then an online Level 3 teaching assistant course, which I’m currently pursuing while volunteering at my children’s school twice a week.
Discovering the Level 3 course was my own initiative. I had to Google it and find the materials and questions online, completing the coursework independently. This form of learning was entirely new to me. Before this, I had taken courses like English, maths, literacy, and numeracy but no professional qualifications.
I first heard about GRoW at the Altmore Children’s Centre in Newham when I took my baby there. They piqued my interest with their motivational approach, and I decided to give it a try. It was exactly what I needed to push myself and gain the confidence to pursue my dreams.
Now that my daughter is in nursery, I have more time to seek employment. I’ve always wanted to work with children, and GRoW helped me realise that this was the right path for me. Their motivational support, especially from my adviser Liz Sewell, gave me the courage to start my journey towards becoming a Teaching Assistant.
My Level 3 course will finish next July, so I’ll be focusing on volunteering and studying until then. After that, I’ll be actively looking for Teaching Assistant positions. GRoW has been instrumental in providing the motivation and guidance I needed to make this transition. They taught me not to wait for tomorrow but to start working towards my goals now, even if it’s at a slow pace. I’m grateful for their support, and I’m excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”