Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent is run by GMCVO, but it is our Delivery Partners – organisations working across the ten authorities of Greater Manchester – that work directly with young people, by employing Talent Coaches. To highlight the diversity in operation and approach of our Delivery Partners, we have asked them a series of questions to put the spotlight on the excellent work they do on a local level.
In this interview, we talk to Nicholas Bolger, Housing and Employment Team Leader at Stockport Homes.
Talent Coach: Iain Forrest
Date Founded: 2005
Number of staff: 650
Mission statement: One Team, Transforming Lives
Describe the young people on GM’s Hidden Talent in three words: Individuals, knowledgeable, motivating
Describe your Talent Coach in three words: Warm, empowering, motivational
Why we should visit your offices: One step inside our beautiful new head office will lead you to a massively engaged caring and motivated team who were awarded three stars and third overall (best not for profit organisation) in The Sunday Times' 2018 Best Companies survey.
Local delicacy we should try when we’re in Stockport: Lord of the Pies
You fancy a night away from Stockport where else do you go in GM for a jolly: Central Manchester, the dogs, great night out!
"Our Talent Coach, Iain, worked with our marketing team to agree a marketing campaign aimed at engaging both young people themselves and other relevant partner services."
Who are you as an organisation and what is it you do?
Stockport Homes was formed in 2005, to manage housing stock across Stockport on behalf of Stockport Council. Their services extended recently through establishing a new trading company,Three Sixty, a development company, Viaduct, and Foundations Stockport – a community benefit society bringing in new staff members and services under the ‘Stockport Homes Group’ umbrella. They manage a wealth of different services, aimed at improving the life chances and quality of life of local people.
Why did you want to be part of GM’s Hidden Talent?
Working on GM Talent Match, our offer of intensive support to young people led to some excellent outcomes including improving confidence, achieving training, education and in some cases jobs.
GM’s Hidden Talent aligns completely with our overall mission statement of 'One Team, Transforming Lives' and our internal strategy of helping to create employment opportunities for young people. This includes the priority groups of former looked after children, young people with disabilities and those characterised as NEET.
The programme also links completely to Stockport Homes' Inclusive Growth Strategy and many more local priorities and wider GM strategies we are signed up to.
How do you find hidden young people?
Our Talent Coach, Iain, worked with our marketing team to agree a marketing campaign aimed at engaging both young people themselves and other relevant partner services.
Iain promoted the service through presentations at internal team meetings and a number of external services including Job Centre Plus, The Apprentice Shop, The Leaving Care Team and Youth Offending Team.
Referrals have generally come via our twice a week drop-in service, 'Freshstart'; word of mouth amongst young people (resulting in three referrals); parents who have engaged successfully with our previous projects and a small number of professional referrals for the programme.
Is there a typical life situation your hidden young people find themselves in?
We've engaged a number of young people who for different reasons, have missed taking other opportunities. This group continue to be supported financially by their families and many still live in the family unit. However, it's become apparent that the families don't necessarily have the appropriate skills to support them into employment and there are more complex issues at play requiring further family support.
What are the strengths of the Talent Coach Model?
This model enables the young people to build trust with a dedicated worker who is able to give intensive one-to-one support for the length of the programme.
Communication methods and contact are continuously reviewed as the needs and responsibilities of the young person changes.