“Growing Points helps people stand on their own feet”

Beauty was referred to the Hidden Talents programme in 2016, and after impressing during her interview, she was directly confirmed to work as Clinical Support Worker with NHS Leeds Trust. And thanks in no small part to the Trust’s career progression path, she will be joining university in June 2019. We sat down with her to discuss about her experience. …

Piggy in the Middle

Remember the game? The “pig” stands between two people who throw a ball to each other and (if you’re the pig) you hope to intercept it so that the person who threw it becomes pig. Simple and fun except when it comes to organisations throwing the ball and you are trying to communicate with them! Often communications don’t work that …

Sports Direct and the NHS: suitable cases for treatment?

Sports Direct and the NHS: suitable cases for treatment? by Dick Stockford Sports Direct has been under the cosh recently for paying less than the minimum wage. That’s bad but it’s not just them, it’s the NHS as well. And this is preventing refugees taking vital places on apprenticeship schemes to become Clinical Support Workers. To date more than 30 …

Memories of Monica (not her real name)

After 5 weeks of a 2 week stay (!) Monica is leaving for her new home. She came to us as a destitute asylum-seeker having failed in her application to the Home Office and had to re-apply for accommodation and support (which she now has…somewhere). If all that sounds odd, try reading Section 44 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum …

Exiting Europe and Welcoming Migrants

The only negotiating position to have with the EU is to exit and leave. It does not have to mean that we do, but it’s clear that the EU will not move unless a very strong resolution is presented. This has always been my view, and I hope it’s Mrs May’s. For me the hard-ball is to be played over …

Sanctuary in Parliament

There were about 200 groups shoe-horned into Committee Room 14 with presentations from organisations ( like Amnesty, Refugee Council and Freed Voices) and individuals, who were almost all refugees. Most was good and moving and one piece sung! I’m delighted that refugees have not yet discovered “Power Point” and there was only one PP from Hay (who do Sanctuary Breaks …

Dawn’s Hope and Humiliation

I met Dawn* recently and knew that she had received some good news. She had achieved “leave to stay” in the UK. Dawn is a customer of Growing Points, a charity that seeks to meet the ambitions of people from excluded communities. Dawn’s ambition is to become a nurse and getting her “remain” will allow her onto the NHS apprentice …

Ticking Boxes: how do you measure success?

How do you measure success? At Growing Points we say that our success is achieving ambitions. Wartime Churchill, asked rhetorically about his ambition answered with one word; Victory! Hard to achieve but easy to measure. In our less heroic times the Charity Commission asks us to ensure our Annual Report is outcome based and increasingly both government and industry are asked to confront the “So What?” question …

Real people, real win-win!

This weekend, three of my Growing Points customers are working hard to slay the dragon of the NHS application form. They are 3 of 11 refugee women who are hoping to take the Nursing Apprentice programme  to become Clinical Support workers under a scheme Growing points has established with the help of Leeds Hospital, Health Education England and City of …

Bonnie Bute

If anyone has been involved in trying to get a local community behind Welcoming Refugees, you’ll know how important  leadership is, especially in the local press. Often the Press is cautious and craven, worrying about advertising revenue and providing a “balanced view” of contentious issues.  So it has been really good to read about the heartwarming invitation  by the Island …