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 Sanctuary. That is where they hope to arrive in a year’s time and, if they wish, they can graduate onto a course which will ultimately give them registration.
Sitting in Starbucks at Leeds station ( my Northern office!) with each one of them, made me experience once again how important to them our Hidden Talents programme is. It’s not just a job and a qualification, important as they are but it is positively life changing and an opportunity they are desperate to grasp to change their life and social status in this country; to somebody who has made it!
Each one has no shortage of experience to put into their Personal Statement, they have not let the grass grow under their feet over the years whist they wait for the lottery of limited opportunities and the promise of a better life to bear fruit. It’s so impressive and humbling to be part of helping make this small change for us, massive change for them.
As the time for my train south arrives and passes 3 then 4 times I realise a whole afternoon has gone but who wouldn’t give any amount of time and support to those thirsty for this opportunity to break out?
Another Guardian helping on the programme puts it much better
“I just want to thank you for getting me involved in such a fantastic project at Leeds, with all those inspiring women! It was just the right thing at the right time for me, and I really feel very privileged to be involved…..I shall enjoy being part of it as it progresses.”
And it’s such a good model, the Hospital employs , Health Education England pays for the training, Growing Points provide 1-2-1 support and we hope at the end we have 11 formally qualified customers and the NHS gets more nurses.
Real people, real win-win!