Helping Christine become a Master Coach for older women
Julie Hoggatt, one of the Group's Employment Skills Officers, has been working with sheltered housing customer Christine Gardener to help her realise her ambitions of setting up a social enterprise to help older women.
Julie explains how she helped Chris on her journey:
Chris really wanted to get back into the world of work, ideally setting up her own social venture. She has over 20 years’ experience in working in a psychiatric setting, a BA(Hons) in Fine Art, and has been an artist in residence, helping set up and run arts-based community projects to bring people together, including young offenders.
While she was doing all this, she became aware of the lack of equality and support for older women, especially when it comes to returning to the workplace, getting promoted, and changing careers. This is where she wanted to make a difference, and she needed new skills and some coaching to help her get there.
We looked at the grants available from the Group to help her, and researched training providers that would give her the best certified qualification with an accreditation, as well as opportunities for continuing career development.
The Master Coach programme, which is accredited by the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring, fit the bill.
Chris, who lives at Sydenham Court in Portsmouth, applied for funding for the course with help from Grants Officer Hannah Martin, who supported Chris with an application to the Sir Ashley Bramall Memorial Fund, which awards up to £500 to customers to help them study or train. The fund was set up in memory of Sir Ashley Brammall, a Group Board member for many years, who had an interest in education.
Julie explains how far along Chris is to realising her ambition:
Chris is now setting up her social enterprise, Infinite Possibilities, which aims to give women, particularly those over 50, the confidence and direction to achieve their goals, be it setting up their own business, returning to work, or picking up a new skill or interest. She does this through confidence-building, life coaching, and working to break down any obstacles stopping people from getting to where they want to be.
She’s also looking at securing a grant through the UnLtd, which supports social entrepreneurs, to help her with her start up.
There’s every likelihood Chris could one day be helping customers across Portsmouth achieve positive futures – what an outcome that would be!