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2 December, 2020
News Story


“We’re always thinking of and developing new ways to create more opportunities to help our residents to rebuild their lives.”

Chantel joined the frontline team at Your Place recently. She is our Employment Specialist, and has a wealth of experience in this field and within our community. This week, Chantel shares how she is working with our residents to achieve their education and employment goals.

I’m Chantel, and I am the newest addition to the Assessment Hub team at Your Place. My role here as Employment Specialist is to work with people who have slept rough in Newham and with no recourse to public funds, and supporting them to access education, training or employment.

I do this by working with them to assess their needs, identify their barriers and supporting them to overcome them so they can successfully move into sustainable employment. Ultimately, this will enable residents to secure an income, maintain a tenancy and leave homelessness behind.

Since starting my role in October, many exciting things have already taken place. The residents I am working with have all been working hard to make sure they have an up-to-date CV and an account with a job-search website so that they can begin their search for work.

Thanks to a generous donation from Tesco Mobile, they also now each have a brand-new smartphone which makes accessing jobs, opportunities and keeping connected so much easier.

We’ve also been working closely with a number of organisations to secure an employment pathway for our residents. We are working in partnership with BEAM, a social enterprise, to support 30 of our residents with no recourse to public funds into employment as a route into longer-term settled accommodation. Their crowd-funding campaigns provide an amazing opportunity for our residents to receive the funding and support required to access their career and the start of a new future.

We’ve also teamed up with Newham Workplace, who are now working closely with several organisations to provide a more holistic support service. This is particularly important for our residents who often have multiple, complex needs – including mental health and substance abuse. Here, they can access a large range of vacancies and receive employment support alongside debt advice and training opportunities.

As English is not a first language for many of our residents who have slept rough, we’ve partnered with MTC Learning and designed a bespoke English for Speakers of Other Languages course (ESOL), which is a course to learn English as a new resident in an English-speaking country. This is tailored specifically around gaining employment, and covers areas such as interview techniques, effective communication, health and safety, and developing CVs. The classes have been a huge success so far and are a starting point for many to engage in a more formal ESOL qualification.

To complement the ESOL classes, we also have a weekly ‘Conversation Club’ where residents can come together to improve their English-speaking skills and increase their confidence, whilst making new friends and experiencing the diversity and culture that we have here at Your Place.

Plans are currently in the pipeline for money management sessions, job clubs and so much more! We’re always thinking of and developing new ways to create more opportunities to help our residents to rebuild their lives. Watch this space!

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