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I am writing this blog with a huge smile today as I have just had some brilliant news about Aisha, one of our Future Finders interns. Aisha has been with us since 2005 when she joined the newly opened New Bridge School in Year 8. Aisha has always been a lovely, polite young lady who has been a joy to teach – I have fond memories of teaching Aisha Drama over 10 years ago! Over the past few years she has been a student on our Bridging the Gap programme and then she re-joined us in September aged 23 as a student on our Future Finders course.

Aisha has been desperate for a job since leaving New Bridge and up until now she just hasn’t had that lucky break. I am therefore absolutely thrilled to inform you that today, Aisha was offered a full time permanent paid position as an admin assistant at Plastics Direct in Oldham!! Aisha has been on placement at Plastics Direct since January and she really has made a huge impression on the team there. Aisha has worked extra shifts to support the team and she has spent many hours with our job coaches working on areas that she wasn’t as confident in. Gaining paid employment is testament to her hard work and determination and she will forever more be a role model for many of our young people..

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team of Job Coaches, Gemma, Anne–Marie and Colin, who have worked hard to support Aisha into employment. Most importantly, I would like to thank Barry and Lee at Plastics Direct for embracing our programme and giving Aisha this fabulous opportunity. It was extremely poignant this morning when I met with Barry, the manager of Plastics Direct – as I thanked him for the opportunity he very quickly interrupted me and said that it was really him who needed to thank us for introducing his company to Aisha. As you can probably tell, I am beaming with pride – well done, Aisha!!! Here’s to many happy years at Plastics Direct.

That isn’t our only success story this week. I would also like to congratulate Sam who has been on placement at Oldham Library for the past term and who has now been offered a position as an independent volunteer. Sam really has found his passion at Oldham Library and he has become an invaluable help by arranging all of their books in order. Our aspirations for Sam over the year long Future Finders course were that he could perhaps work with a PA or job coach on a one to one basis in the future to access this volunteering placement. Just like Aisha, however, Sam has worked extremely hard and he has proved to us and his employer that he is capable of working independently. Well done, Sam!!

I would also like to wish Abdul the best of luck in his trial at the Whitegate pub this evening. I am sure that he will ‘wow’ them with his lovely personality and hardworking ethos – fingers crossed it will lead to paid employment for him.

Our final success this week goes to our interns who have been on placement at Oldham Community Leisure. On Saturday night they attended the prestigious OCL Staff Awards evening at Oldham Event Centre and I am thrilled to inform you that they were awarded ‘Volunteers of the Year’ and received a trophy and a cheque for £200! Another amazing achievement for our students who continue to amaze me. They truly are an inspiration and the impact that they are having in the community is unprecedented!

I don’t think I need to go on any more about Future Finders and all of our supported internship courses but I will just say that they really do work and have such an impact on the lives of our young people! If you are reading this and know of an employer in Oldham who might want to work with us, then please do get in touch.

Now, over to Horizons and it’s Red Nose Day! I will send over the photos next week but, trust me, as I look out of my office at John wearing a pink dressing gown, it will be worth the wait!

Hayley’s group have had a fantastic week with lots of fun and laughter. They have been busy baking and making crafts ready for Mother’s Day..

..had some fun music sessions..

..and enjoyed some pamper time and foot spas..

They had a lovely surprise when Jeanette came to visit us after leaving last year to live overseas – the young people really enjoyed the catch up and it was like she had never been away..

Today they visited the Portland Basin Museum which was a great success and enjoyed by all – Liam attempted to steal a pint at the bar..

Cam really enjoyed the piano..

Anthony explored the period head gear..

Luke seemed to enjoy the football memorabilia section and Neelam just liked seeing it all..

They had a wonderful day out!

Emma’s group have enjoyed visits to Ability Wheelz and Chadderton Hall Park… did I miss this sunshine??

Shelley’s group have been swimming this week and have enjoyed some craft sessions where they have been creating Mother’s Day cards and cooking yummy pancakes..

Jeff’s group have once again enjoyed their weekly dance session..

They have also enjoyed visits to Ability Wheelz, swimming at OCL and walks in the park..

They created lovely Mother’s Day cards and have been making some road signs for their road safety project..

Gary’s group have been preparing for Red Nose Day by having a bake day to sell cakes. Lauren and Jess have been designing a poster to promote their sale..

Mrs Chappell has done a wonderful report on Lumenus’s fantastic performance at the Coliseum but that will need a page of its own! I will put a link to it when it is uploaded shortly but for now I can give you a ‘sneak peek’ at what is in store..

I think that is everything for this week! What a week it has been. Well done again to our Future Finders superstars. I would just like to remind you before I go about the New Bridge Lottery. Many of you have already signed up but we would like to encourage more of you to join our very own Oldham Lottery here! For just £1 a week you can have the chance at winning a local prize fund and the national prize fund of £25,000!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

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1 Medtia Square, Phoenix Street, Oldham, OL1 1AN

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