Family Find Their Future Thanks to Witton Lodge

November 30, 2021

A married couple from London who moved over 120-miles in search of sustainable employment have now secured long-term job roles in Birmingham following training from Witton Lodge Community Association.

In their quest for work, Kolade and Maryam Idowu were mentored by Employment Coach Melissa Gayle, who provided them with bespoke support in all aspects of the job search process including creating a CV, making applications and upskilling through practical, vocational training. This was achieved as part of the Ignite Aspirations employment support project, funded by the European Social Fund.

During her first interview with Melissa in July, Maryam spoke of her aspirations to work in education as well as her family’s interest and willingness to engage with their local community to access activities.

Shortly after, Kolade also met with Melissa Gayle in the hope of securing a full-time position.

“The couple engaged in intense one-to-one employment support,” said Melissa.

“They attended numerous CV writing sessions and received practical support with making online job applications, accessing relevant training and development programmes. Kolade and Maryam, along with their three children, also attended our Commonwealth Games Roadshow to find out more information on local employment opportunities. The children were also able to join in with activities on the day.”

As the family had only moved to Birmingham earlier this year they were faced with various challenges. Apart from finding suitable employment, the children needed new schools and their parents needed to be able to access local amenities and resources.

“As well as their employment coaching Kolade and Maryam also undertook Curve Learning courses – Curve Learning is an online learning portal that allows clients to access a range of non-accredited courses, mainly related to the Health and Social Care sector – with Maryam completing a Level 2 in Safeguarding and a Level 2 Understanding Autism.

“Both also completed Bank Customer Service training courtesy of South and City College, added Melissa.

“The couple also received support from our Wellbeing Officer, Fauzia Begum, to be able access local resources available to them such as school uniforms for their children.”

Kolade has now secured a role with Balfour Beatty Vinci (HS2) as a Facilities Assistant while Maryam is now working at a local school as an SEN classroom assistant.

Melissa Gayle and Witton Lodge Community have made moving to Birmingham easier than we anticipated,” said Maryam.

” From the beginning,  Melissa motivated us and got us ready to find employment. She really took all of our worries away. We are so pleased the day we found Witton Lodge and met Melissa. We want to let everyone know about the help we received and the difference it made to us all.”