How long have you been unemployed and what courses had you done before joining Create Your Future?
Before having a child I had been a personal assistant. I have been unemployed since 2016. I decided to do short courses to improve my skills. I did educational courses, parenting and healthy eating at Thomas Fairchild School and then I heard about Create your Future through the children’s centre Manager, Masha.
Before starting the Personal Development course with Create Your Future I had been enrolled on another course but it didn’t work for me. It made me a little bit depressed. I felt I was let down.
What did you like about the Create Your Future Personal Development course?
When I applied for the Create Your Future programme I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest I was surprised there is something like personal development and didn’t know these things exist, like a personal coach!
We learned how to develop our personality, how to find out who you are and what we want in life. Natasha Quashie was my personal coach and I really liked her – she’s a great person. The course worked out for me very well and was beneficial for other participants as well.
I enjoyed doing something for myself, not only for my child. I was encouraged to do what I love, focus on my passion and develop my business idea. I had an idea but didn’t know how to start.
The 1-2-1 sessions that we had at the end of the course were particularly helpful. I received personal guidance and my coach helped me understand how to progress with my idea.
What activities did you do on the course and how did it help you?
On the course we talked about different things – self-compassion, healthy lifestyle, goals, fear of failure – all of that helped. One of the things that really hit me from one of the sessions was a statement: ‘A goal not being actioned is simply a wish’. I made a sign with these words and put it up at home. I realised that my goal was a wish and I didn’t like it. So I decided to do something about it.
What difference has the programme made to your life?
It helped me move towards my goal and create an action plan. I’m working on a business plan and realistic idea. I have some future ideas but they will take more time and research to develop. Natasha guided me and helped me set short-term and long-term goals. I’m doing a lot of research and we meet every week to discuss my progress.
What is your business idea?
My idea is a business where colour is bringing happiness to people.
I want to work with people through colours and to give them a space to express themselves through painting. I want to work with children, older people, people who are sick or in hospital… For me painting is like a colour therapy.
One day when I was down, I saw a painting and its colours touched me and made me feel inspired and happy. Colour can change how we feel. It can be very therapeutic.
Initially, I wanted people to come to me but I have a small space and I would be very limited. Now, I want to be mobile and go to different places. I want to go to schools, community centres and hospitals, to help people improve their moods.
How are you feeling about your life now?
I’m really happy and really busy! I have to do a lot of research. Every time I meet with my coach I have to be prepared. I want to work as hard as possible to use her guidance and time.
I think all women and mums who want to have a better life should attend a personal development course like this one.
From the age of 17 I worked in administration, finance and customer service, but since having children I had been unemployed for 6 years. When my youngest turned 2 I decided to go back to work, but felt as though I had forgotten everything. I lacked in confidence and didn’t know where to start or where to go and get help with writing a CV and filling in application forms. The only place I knew was the Job Centre, so I called them, but they were not helpful at all.
Then one day I saw a leaflet on my child’s school notice board about an organisation called Hackney Works. I contacted them and made an appointment to see an advisor. When I visited them, they were very helpful and gave me advice on how to update my CV and some tips on how to fill in application forms, as well as on interview skills. With their advice I applied for an Exam Invigilator job and ended up getting it, which really helped with my confidence. At the same time, I was doing voluntary admin work for my local primary school and through that I met Kome Owuasu, who is the founder of African Community School. Kome introduced me to a short IT course L1 & L2, which was funded by Create Your Future. The course helped me regain all my skills, knowledge, and confidence and allowed me to network with other women.
During my course my tutor was very helpful and supportive. At times she even let me bring in my 2-year-old to complete my work so that I didn’t fall behind. While I was doing my course, I applied for the administrative job with African Community School and was offered the job. I enjoy working for a charity organisation where I get to do what I have always wanted to do – to encourage other women to take steps towards gaining independence, increasing confidence, building networks and exploring different career options, because nothing is impossible as long as you are dedicated, determined and keep telling yourself that you can do it, even as a busy mum.