We’ve been getting ready to run our next Employment Preparation Programme, which starts on October 5th. Employment Academy graduates Antony and Nikol have been supporting us with the recruitment process. They’ve been meeting potential participants and sharing stories from their time at the House, talking what to expect and telling them about life since graduation.

Antony graduated from our Employment Academy in 2018, since then he’s been working for one of our Employer Partners, Planet Organic. He’s a people person and gets a lot from human interaction – even if it’s from behind a mask! Antony’s big passion is nature and the outdoors. He’s volunteered his time to support the charity Mind via its horticultural therapy programme. Now, he’s focusing on looking for ways that he can build his work life around his big interests of the environment, walking and history.

Nikol also graduated in 2018. She’s been working front of house for the Youth Hostel Association ever since, and recently started a Media Production course at Ravensbourne University. Her big passion is storytelling, whether that be from behind the camera, in front or via podcast. Nikol wants to use her own story to talk about issues around immigration, homelessness, and mental health. It’s these experiences she uses when talking to potential new participants before they start their own Employment Academy journeys.

Antony and Nikol agree that coming back to the House is always exciting and being able to meet potential new participants is a real privilege. Returning to the House after it had been closed for lockdown has felt extra special – like all graduates, Antony and Nikol have been keeping in touch with the Employment Academy by email, telephone and Zoom, but that hasn’t been the same as seeing the team at 1 Greek Street.

We know that potential participants find meeting graduates useful and inspiring, but for Antony and Nikol this works both ways. Both say that they always come away from recruitment days feeling mentally sharper and brighter. Making human connections and in-person interaction felt especially important to them this time round.

Their top tips to new participants? “Do what you can to get on the course. And, don’t give up.”

We’ll have a new group of participants joining the Employment Academy and our community on October 5th. We’ve been working hard to make sure that we can run the programme in a way that complies with government guidelines and feels safe for everyone involved, whilst still maintaining what makes it special and effective.

We’re really excited to welcome participants back to the House – please say a safely distanced hello when you see them around the building.

To find out more about our Employment Academy visit https://www.hosb.org.uk/our-work/