This is my first newsletter as Managing Director of Growing Points. My thanks to Tesfalem who took over from me as Operations Director in 2018 and I wish him well for the future.
I remain a Trustee and I am also working as a Guardian in Brighton and West Sussex as I live locally. I really enjoy working with customers and it gives me a real insight into the challenges that people face and the excitement when someone achieves their ambitions.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our key workers for maintaining vital services at this time. I know that some of our customers are working hard at the front line and we are very grateful to you and proud of you!
The pandemic has meant that we have had to stop seeing customers face to face for the moment but we have continued to work with them online.
Despite the pandemic and the fact that Leeds Hospitals are working flat out to care for victims of the virus, we are in the middle of Cohort 8 and planning for Cohort 9 later in the year. We will share results of these recruitment exercises as and when they become available. We are very grateful to Richard who has kept going through difficult times by coordinating activities!
Hidden Talents is a programme in Leeds where our customers are supported to pursue a career in the NHS as apprentices or as clinical support works or as business administrators.
New Ways of working
One of the interesting things that has developed as a result of the pandemic is the way that people have adapted to and developed new skills in all sort of social media – Zooming and Skyping have been a popular way of connecting with people in these challenging times. It is likely that many organisations will positively encourage more people to work at home in the future.
We have been thinking how this new way of working might benefit our organisation in the future. There is no doubt that moving to a much more digital offer would make sense, save money and time and improve our national offer to all from excluded communities. This does not exclude face-to-face work when allowed, but does provide an excellent alternative where this is simply impossible, eg Guardians and Customers being located in different parts of the country.
More information on that to follow as we are writing a consultation document on the way forward.
One of my priorites is to continue to source sustainable funding for Growing Points. The Chairman Dick Stockford is planning a walk along the Thames in the Summer – a long one – and we hope that will boost our profile and raise some cash!!
We are investigating the possibilities of funding for some salaried posts and also some funding for new ways of working. Watch this space!
Lots of people are shopping online – no queues!
If you are shopping online and want to support a good cause why no sign up here. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/invite/WG71F8/B63TP1/ This will take you to the EasyFundraising website where you can search for Growing Points. They donate money to us if you purchase through their site. I use it (particularly for John Lewis) and it works!
If you require information on anything in the newsletter please contact the Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org
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And finally our infographic which sets out our journey so far…