Want to know more about what it’s like on programme? Esa and Sharyce, participants in Employment Preparation Programme 17, have blogged. Read about their first few days at the House.

Hi! I’m Sharyce, one of the participants in the Employment Academy. I started on the 5th October 2020; The last three days have been life changing in some ways, I’ve blogged about how.

Monday 5th October 2020 – First Day
My first day was a really good day, it was a day to get to know a bit about everyone through games and activities which I really enjoyed. The day was more relaxed than I expected, and we weren’t bombarded with a whole bunch of paperwork! It was very interactive which helped us all feel a bit more comfortable. We also spoke as a group about why we were actually here and how we work as a team – it was good to reflect individually and together and to take the opportunity to really think about why we are here. It uplifted me because it helped me to start thinking positively; it helped me to see my goals more clearly and want to strive and put 110% in. I can do it!   

Tuesday 6th October 2020 – Second Day
The second day was more in depth, we discussed the skills an employer would look for in a person and what fears we have about going into work. We did an activity that had six different famous people; we had to write under each name some of the different skills that each person would have and need in their job and this helped me look at the skills I had and see what I was good at and what I needed to improve and work on. We also looked at some reasons why we wanted to work. The reasons that fitted best with me were because I want to provide a better life for my child and myself. I also want to work to develop new skills and improve my mental health.  

Wednesday 7th October 2020 – Third Day
This day so far has been the best day for me as we got to do hands-on activities (like gluing and sticking!) to make a goal sheet for the next 6 months, the next year and the next 3 years. This was more fun for me because when I see an image of something that I want for myself it encourages me more than looking at some words on a piece of paper; we got to create it how we wanted and stick what we wanted so it was personal to us. We also created a tree to look at the positives in our lives; things like, who has helped us and what skills we have and what positive attributes we want to share with others. 

Overall, being at the House of St Barnabas has been a wonderful experience so far. Everyone is very warm and welcoming; from our teacher to the receptionists, to the chefs, everyone has made me feel more at ease because everyone is treated equally and fairly. This has also helped me to change my attitude towards work and everyday life (still working on it too!) to be more positive and see my strengths and know what I bring to the table if I get offered a job.  


I’m Esa, and this is how I’ve found my first week on the House of St Barnabas Employment Preparation Programme.

Monday 5th October 2020 – First Day
My experience on my first day at the House of St. Barnabas was interesting – it’s a very positive, uplifting and welcoming place. On my first day, I manage to meet wonderful people from a mixture of backgrounds and cultures. Together, we complete a team building task guided by Brian and Jennie from the Employment Academy.

Tuesday 6th October 2020 – Second Day
The second day we learned about what makes a person employable.  We made commitments to what we can change and what’s important. For me, that’s not going back and doing what I can to make it work.

The staff commit to offering support, honesty, realism and feedback.

We also talked about how to turn negative thinking to positive thinking. Instead of saying “I can’t”, add “yet” because we are all in progress!

Wednesday 7th October 2020 – Third Day
Today we learned how to create SMART targets. We cut up magazines to find pictures that line up with each of our goals for 6 months time, 1 years time and in the next 3 years. This helped me to develop an idea of the direction I am reaching towards. It was inspiring and helped give me a spark for my goals and dreams.

The next topic was “the tree of life”. We learned we are all very deep rooted and that by knowing what our roots are, we can help shape the walk of life from the past to the present. We learned about how the past can impact the present, in things like who we care for, love, feel support from and are influenced by.

I learned a lot of new skills, and about how the brain works and reacts to things. I realised that I do know a lot of the answers and can be in control of some things but not others. It helped me to think a lot about how not to go in circles.

To find our more about the work of our Employment Academy, head here: https://hosb.org.uk/our-work/