We’re bringing you the story of a graduate from one of our first Employment Preparation Programmes, our fourth.

We offer all graduates one year of post-graduation support. This means they work with a member of our Employment Academy team who provide practical support and guidance with things like job applications, interview prep, housing support, and benefit claims or changes. During this time, each graduate is also paired with a volunteer mentor who helps with regular check-ins and is an important listening ear. We operate an open-door policy for all graduates, which means we’re always available for additional support, even after the first year of more formal post-graduation support has come to an end.

This graduate’s volunteer mentor had checked-in when the lock down started and found her worried and anxious about how she was going to feed her three teenage children. Before the lock down, she was working in social care but because she was on a 0 hours contract, many of her shifts were cancelled and her income had dropped significantly. Working together, the volunteer mentor and our Employment Academy team managed to apply to Westminster Food Bank, who are now providing regular food boxes. We are also helping this graduate with a Universal Credit application, but because of the huge surge in new applications, this is proving a trial. We’ll be on hand to make sure that the application gets through the system and approved and will be providing care packages alongside the food bank packages until this is completed.

We would not be able to do any of this work without the help of our members and supporters. We know that this is a challenging time for us all, but if you are able to make a donation to help this work continue, you can here.