Shanella had always dreamed of becoming an air hostess, but after a spell of unemployment starting in 2016, her confidence was severely knocked. In October 2017, she joined the Hospitality Futures programme, in an attempt to regain her confidence and begin a long, fulfilling career in hospitality.
A lack of confidence seemed to be Shanella’s biggest challenge. It was clear from the outset that she was introverted, and was often overcritical of her own performance. Fortunately, with some gentle encouragement she began to open up to the team, taking charge of her education and even making new friends on the course. Step-by-step, the Hospitality Futures programme helped her to break through her barriers.
At the end of the programme, Shanella had made leaps and bounds in her performance and confidence. Not only did she show passion and determination within the course itself, but also by taking a lead role in our graduation day – presenting in front of over 70 people at the ceremony.
After completing the course, Shanella undertook a two-week work placement at the Park Plaza Riverbank. After recognising her untapped potential, the four-star hotel offered her a position as a receptionist, a role that she eagerly accepted.
All of this was possible through our IntoWork programmes – including Hospitality Futures – which are all made possible by our generous funders and charity events.
Hannah Horler is the Managing Director of Cartwheel Recruitment, and took part in Springboard's TREK '18: Vietnam. We chatted to her to see if she had any advice for the next generation of Trekkers.
How did you fundraise the required amount for TREK? What tips do you have for newbies who may have never fundraised before?
"I actually raised my funds entirely through donations. When doing this, target the key people you know, and send the appeal out several times (taking off the names of those who have donated, as you go) - this way you gently keep on top of those who often say yes, but won’t get around to it without a couple of nudges."
In what ways did you prepare for TREK – physically, mentally or in terms of clothing and equipment? Do you have any advice that you wish someone might have given you beforehand?
"In terms of preparation for the trek, I ensured I kept fit. The treks aren’t overly challenging, so you don’t need to worry about not being super fit – but you do need to be comfortable being on your feet for many hours every day. If you’re normally less active, make sure you walk a lot in preparation. Good quality walking socks are a must though - It makes such a difference to your feet! Take either one pair for each day, or you could even manage with a pair for every two days."
"The one thing that was not communicated as well was about casual clothing for the evenings. You tend to focus on your trekking gear when packing, and don’t think about what you’re going to change into after a day of trekking, so take some casual/comfortable lounging gear. Also, ask if you’ll be going to any smart restaurants, for which you’ll need one or two smart outfits."
What was the best part about TREK? How did the TREK enrich your life? How did it feel to help people across the world, while undertaking the adventure of a lifetime?
"There were many great parts of the trek. The walking and amazing scenery is a great escape from normal day-to-day life, and having time to chat with lots of interesting people really enriches your life.
"As does the school project. It was very humbling putting in so much effort and seeing the sheer gratitude of the locals at what were able to leave them with. Truly special memories."
If you'd take the journey of a lifetime, while helping people all across the world, then make sure you head to springboard.uk.net/TREK.
Everyone can benefit from Springboard’s TREK. From the young, disadvantaged villagers deep in the Bornean jungles, to those with barriers to employment throughout the UK, TREK prides itself on helping people in need across the world. But how exactly does it help?
In Borneo it’s simple. The TREKKERS – a 40-strong team of intrepid explorers – will navigate the unexplored forests, ancient rivers and mountains fells of the island nation, to reach a small, remote village where they will build a school, using only primitive tools and sheer determination. The village in question, Dunsun Sangai, has no access to formal education – with the closest establishment over 240 kilometres away.
Back in the UK, every single penny raised will go towards helping young and disadvantaged people in the UK to work through their issues that are keeping them from employment – giving them the tools needed to forge a rewarding career within hospitality.
But TREK doesn’t just help young and disadvantaged people. There are a myriad of ways that the expedition helps businesses too. Through helping those less fortunate than themselves, businesses can achieve their CSR goals by raising money for the industry’s charity.
It also helps to boost your employer brand, highlighting companies that not only give back to the community, but also to their staff. This in turn helps boost productivity and happiness, by offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for outstanding work. When it comes to the trek itself, the journey engenders teamwork in everyone involved, giving them the chance to overcome mental and physical barriers together – developing their leadership and interpersonal skills. Aside from that, it helps cultivate strong industry connections that will last a lifetime.
With all these positives coming from the TREK, what reasons could you have not to take part? Head to springboard.uk.net/TREK to find out even more reasons to sign up, and then take the plunge.