At the end of last year, the GM’s Hidden Talent team were visited by Angela Lennon and colleagues from Involve, an Irish organisation that work with Traveller communities in Ireland. Involve were particularly interested in services which work with those furthest from the labour market.
The unemployment rate in the Traveller communities that Involve currently work with sits at 82% - and it is one of the organisation’s key strategic aims to address this by working with these communities.
In November Angela met with Programme Manager Gavin Owen and the Broughton Trust, our delivery partners in Salford.
"The values and ethos of the programme were clear."
Graham Cooper, GM’s Hidden Talent manager for the Broughton Trust, arranged for some of the young people from the Manchester Traveler community who engage with the Broughton Trust to also attend the meeting.
Angela discussed the programme with Gavin, Graham, and the young people who attended. She noted that "the values and ethos of the programme were clear" and was pleased to see the programme was not a box ticking exercise – stating that she felt that that the flexibility and holistic support of the Talent Coach model were key to the programme’s success. She noted that hearing the stories of young people on the programme was also insightful: especially in the way the Broughton Trust support young people who may lack formal qualifications by helping them present other essential and employable skills, such as communication and work ethic.
Gavin Owen commented that "Here at GMCVO and especially with Hidden Talent we try to promote and enable relationships between different communities so that people are able to work together and become stronger. When Angela asked about visiting a Delivery Partner to find out more about how we and the community organisations support young people work I knew that we would have several willing volunteers. I asked Graham from the Broughton Trust and he agreed immediately."
Gavin added that "it was fantastic to hear the young people speak with such enthusiasm and passion and seeing Graham sharing his ideas, knowledge and experience while Angela and her colleagues asked questions and took it all in", and thanked Angela for taking the time to learn about the programme first hand.
Graham Cooper said that ‘it was interesting to meet Angela and Involve and listen to their plans to start a similar programme with the travelling community in Ireland. It was also inspiring to listen to the young people I had invited generate ideas that will be beneficial for Angela after reflecting on their own past experiences and successes’. Angela noted that meeting beneficiaries to the programme first hand helped her gain an understanding of the importance of working with communities in a ‘culturally sensitive way’ and not to underestimate the importance of local knowledge and a place-based approach.
The team would like to thank Involve for their interest in the programme. To learn more about the GM’s Hidden Talent programme, you can subscribe to our E-Bulletin.