Supported residents employed to work in a boutique shop in Croydon’s Whitgift Centre have been awarded retail qualifications to help them kickstart their career.
The 12 participants in All About Me, an innovative four-week employability programme for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties have now all gained a level one City & Guilds retail qualification, alongside valuable work experience.
All About Me was developed by Croydon Council’s award-winning Gateway service, which works with residents to reduce homelessness, helping them to achieve financial stability and secure tenancies.
Gateway’s employment advisers, who train and support residents to have greater confidence in the workplace and secure paid employment, assisted the trainees throughout the project. They will continue to be supported to help them secure paid work.
The £1,200 raised by selling handmade products has gone back to the local community projects that helped with scheme. Any remaining money will be donated to local homeless charities.
The Brit School, Bensham Manor School, Neblina Art, Solo Wood Recycling, CDN, ArtHalo, East Croydon Cool, Ivy Rose London and K.C.S Upcycling all supplied goods to be sold, while Strive Training provided the City & Guilds training on site.
Joshua Greenslade, a Croydon resident who took part in the project, said: “I liked the project, it helped me and gave me first-hand experience of retail and a qualification. Based on my experience I have told friends with learning disabilities like me about the All About Me project.”
“The All About Me project has been extremely successful and I’m really please that everyone who took part has received a qualification that makes them more employable.
“The residents working in the shop were able to put their learning into practice immediately, giving them even more confidence in their abilities. Well done, and thanks, to everyone involved.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs