To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week apprentices and trainees across Riverside are sharing their stories about how working with us has transformed their lives.
We support workplace training opportunities for our former homeless customers. Riverside’s Giving Real Opportunities for Work (GROW) programme offers employment as part of a ten-month placement. Not only does this give essential work experience, but it also allows the trainees to put their personal experiences and insight to positive use.
Meet Winston Hudson
Now a Housing Officer covering our London supported housing schemes, Winston Hudson has progressed from Riverside GROW Trainee to Support Worker to Housing Officer.
“I found myself homeless after a relationship breakdown and spent time in a series of hostels over three years. Before I was homeless I had worked in telecommunications but I knew I wanted a change.
“I went along to Lambeth Voluntary Office in Brixton and found a Digital Mentor role helping former homeless people to learn the basics of computing. The role was based at Riverside’s supported housing in Brixton, and when a GROW traineeship at the housing and support services at a Westminster scheme became available, I was encouraged to apply.
“As a GROW Trainee, and when I went onto become a Support Worker, I worked with customers living in supported housing who were affected by mental health difficulties. I helped them to access specialist health support and work with training organisations to get back into employment. Having been homeless myself, I knew there was very little separating me from people living at the scheme, and what we all had in common was the experience and misfortune of being made homeless.
“Now as a Housing Officer, I provide customer focused housing management support to six schemes, I arrange for repairs to be carried out and maintain the health and safety standards for all properties.
“Riverside has given me the opportunity to change my career and by doing this I have able to do something that is making a difference to people’s lives.”
Gary Jones, Winston’s manager says: “Winston is a real asset to my team. He’s conscientious and keen to learn and I’m confident he has a long career in housing ahead of him.”