Pathways Into Management at Thames Reach – Interview

The Pathways into Management programme started in January, encouraging members of staff to develop their skills to move into management roles at Thames Reach. We spoke with Miracle, one of its participants, to see how it’s going

Pathways Into Management at Thames Reach – Interview

We spoke to Miracle Godfrey, Senior Practitioner, who is one of the members of staff currently on the Thames Reach Pathways into Management programme, which is providing a group of staff with the skills and confidence to develop their career further in the organisation. 2020 is the programme’s first year, so we caught up with Miracle to see what she wants to achieve from the initiative, and how it’s going so far.

 I’ve been with Thames Reach for eight years; up until November last year I was doing night shifts at the Waterloo Project. I enjoyed it and was very comfortable doing this but sometimes when you get used to the role you’re in, you start to feel like you need a challenge. After a while I realised that people praising me for being good at my job meant that I should be aiming for a more senior role.

So while I was working at Waterloo I applied for a secondment as a Senior Practitioner elsewhere at Thames Reach, and was given the job at Newham Stepping Stone, a new, temporary project. The “manager’s role” really felt like a step up and helped me believe in myself and build my confidence as well as helping me move forward in my career.

When the opportunity of the Pathways into Management programme came up, I thought about it and said “I don’t think I can make it, I don’t think I’ll be chosen”. It was in the back of my mind until two days before the deadline, but then I sent an email to HR to see if I could still apply, and still wasn’t expecting much. Then a couple of weeks later I found out I’d been accepted; I was really pleased and shocked.

The Pathways into Management programme is going really well so far. After I found out I’d been accepted, colleagues are saying I’m lucky to be on the course but it’s not luck, you have to push yourself and find opportunities to aim high. Aside from learning new things, it’s a real opportunity to voice your feelings; it’s not a formal setting, you can hear others express themselves while contributing your own experiences. It’s a confidential and safe space. Everyone has ideas that pop up all the time.

The first day of the programme I was impressed, it really feels like you’re not alone. I was impressed by what Bill [Tidnam, Chief Executive] had to say and his own growth, how he was comfortable in his role for a long time but applied for more senior roles at Thames Reach and kept himself motivated. I don’t want to look back now; even though it’s good to reflect, I want to aim higher, and the programme is really helping me with that, I feel very empowered.

I would like to improve on my communication and listening skills; I know that the way I communicate needs adjustment. If my service isn’t made permanent, I’m aiming for a managerial role elsewhere in Thames Reach. I am going to do it, I’m really motivated now!

I would like to say that I really appreciate the programme and would like to thank those who put it together and their hard work. It’s going beyond improving staff for Thames Reach, it improves your own development and your own skills. I’ve already noticed improvements in my interactions with colleagues and external agencies.

I want to inspire people not to just sit and wait for opportunities to come to them, but to go out there and find the opportunities to develop – believe in yourself!

The Pathways into Management cohort 2020

Traineeships – Interview with one of our graduates

The Thames Reach traineeship scheme is now open for applications – we interviewed Ross, who graduated from the programme in April 2019 and is now a lead worker with our South East Regional Outreach team

Traineeships – Interview with one of our graduates

The Thames Reach traineeship programme provides career pathways into the homeless sector. It offers participants the opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed to work for Thames Reach and within the broader sector. The traineeship programme actively encourages those with a previous history of homelessness to apply, as well as people with little or no experience of the homeless sector. Passion, commitment and empathy towards homeless people along with good administration skills are required to succeed. The programme has seen students and tutors alike incredibly pleased with the experience and future prospects.

Ross Lambert is one of the graduates, who got a job as an assistant support worker at Croydon Reach after undertaking his first placement, and has since worked with three different Thames Reach outreach teams. We spoke to him when he graduated in April 2019.

What’s your background and what attracted you to the programme?
I actually had a very different career before starting the traineeship; I was a glass designer for ten years, and although I really enjoyed it, I wanted to do something that helped people. After a short career break, I thought about how I might be able to do this and did some research. Spending some time travelling confirmed that I wanted to do a job that made a difference in the community. I knew little about what support workers did but knew that it was a step in the right direction for me.

What did you do during your time on the traineeship?
The work we did while training was really close to what we’d be doing as assistant support workers once we finish, so it was good to learn first-hand from the start. I shadowed the Croydon Reach outreach team and followed their work with other agencies.

What did you enjoy the most?
The fact that I can see tangible results from my day-to-day work, and that’s something I’ll continue to enjoy as I settle in my new role and progress throughout my career.

Who have you worked with so far?
I had no experience working with vulnerable people before now but working with service users has been a real highlight, it truly feels like a two-way street, we’re inspiring each other and working collaboratively.

What are your plans for the future?
I got the job at Croydon Reach the same day as my second placement was due to start, so I’m still very new and enjoying learning everything I can about the role. I’m happy to have the experience and use the skills I learned in the traineeship for real-life situations.


Thames Reach are recruiting following service expansion – Join the team!

Our new services have created opportunities for people wanting to build a career and help end homelessness

Thames Reach are recruiting following service expansion – Join the team!

Since April 2019, Thames Reach has secured over £3 million in additional funding. The funding, from the Ministry of Housing and Communities, has enabled Local Government to increase spending on homeless services across London.

Working in partnership with Lambeth, Newham, Greenwich, Hillingdon and Hackney we are now delivering new street outreach services, recruiting navigators to support rough sleepers to stay off the streets and testing ways of supporting clients from the EEA to access jobs and accommodation.

Thames Reach are also working closely with the Mayor of London, developing new services to rapidly move new rough sleepers off the streets.

These services have created new opportunities for people those wanting to join Thames Reach to build a career and help end homelessness.  

Click here to view all current roles based across London.