By Andi Hardy - Springboard Programme Manager
Today I attended one of the most heartwarming events I think I have ever attended. The Anawim Awards.
The Anawim Centre’s key objective is to help women overcome problems or obstacles that adversely affect their lives, with the overriding aim that they achieve their goals and reach their full potential. This centre is a hub for these women, a safe place for them to grow, develop, to learn new skills and to face their challenges with the support of the amazing Anawim staff.
I have been lucky enough to be invited into Anawim to provide an Introduction to Hospitality Course, funded by the Jabbs Foundation – who are massive supporters of the centre and are part of the reason as to its success.
This course is all about building core skills such as team building, confidence and public speaking but wrapped around the subject of hospitality. Every task we did in group was designed to develop these skills and open up the world of hospitality to them and make the ladies aware that they could have a successful career in the industry.
Today I witnessed sheer determination, grit & strength. I watched women cry on stage as they thanked Anawim for their support, I listened to stories of abuse, marginalisation, depression, loss of children and so much more but the happy ending in all of these stories – Anawim. These women may not be perfect, in fact they may have only just started their journey with Anawim – but my goodness they are onto a great & powerful journey of discovery, self-belief and confidence.
To the ladies I have worked with – please know that you are bright, beautiful and brilliant. You’re journey in 6 short weeks has been phenomenal to say the least and I know that you will continue to grow with the support of Anawim. I am honoured to have worked with you and to have met you.
Now today I didn’t read my prepared speech because I was too overcome with emotion and taken in by the marvellous stories – but I have included this here as I feel that everyone should see how much this course has meant to me and the activities that the ladies have undertaken with tenacity and enthusiasm.
Anawim thank you - for everything you do. Services like yours are changing the world one woman at a time.
Ali started the Hospitality Futures programme after being unemployed for over six months. With a young family to support, Ali was feeling under pressure to find something that would not only lead to a secure and rewarding career, but also have the flexibility he required to manage his family commitments. As he didn’t have much work experience or a university degree, he began to feel a bit desperate about his situation and future.
It was in September 2017 at his local job centre that he came across the opportunity to be on Springboard’s Hospitality Futures Programme. Hospitality was an industry he had never considered before, but he thought the programme sounded exciting and so he quickly signed himself up.
Ali performed amazingly, and sailed through the programme. With his confident but inclusive personality, he was a positive influence on everyone around him. Indeed, it was evident that his naturally bubbly personality and sunny disposition made him a great fit for the industry.
At the end of the programme, Ali had to decide where he wanted to do his work placement, and he decided that he wanted to try food and beverage service, as the inter-personal aspect and practical nature of the job really appealed to him. It was then that he spoke with Coople, the world largest on-demand staffing platform – one of our fabulous corporate patrons – as we felt that their professional, fun and modern culture would really suit his personality. Furthermore, we felt that the nature of the work Coople provided would allow him to find flexible jobs in hospitality that he required to support his family.
Ali had the opportunity to increase the breadth of his experience by working in different positions in a couple of London high-end hotels, top event venues and renowned restaurants and bars. Ali did especially well in one of Coople’s clients, a 5-star London hotel, and at the end of his placement he was rewarded with a contract to work regularly through Coople on their platform. He has since been working consistently for over 6 months, honing his customer skills and increasing his experience. Ultimately the roles he has been performing on behalf of Coople have provided him with the chance to support his family whilst also beginning a career where he can thrive. Indeed, Ali continues to flourish as a great success story, and has been a regular source of positive feedback from Coople’s clients