Thames Reach to host job clinic on 1 and 3 June

The event will provide training and advice to help people back into work

Thames Reach to host job clinic on 1 and 3 June

On Tuesday 1 June and Thursday 3 June we are hosting a job clinic at our Employment Academy community hub in Camberwell. Run by our Employment and Skills team, who help people to get back into work, the two events will be an opportunity for people to meet with the team, get advice, and make use of their expertise in order to better secure meaningful, long term employment.

The job clinic will run between 2pm-4pm on Tuesday 1 June and Thursday 3 June at the Employment Academy, 29 Peckham Road, Camberwell, London SE5 8UA

Areas covered by the job clinic will include:

– Searching for jobs

– Reviewing and improving your CVs

– Job applications

– Digital support

– Interview preparation and skills

– Personal development

– Support when you’re already in work

To book a spot at the job clinic:

If you are a Southwark resident:

email: giovanni.d’

phone: 07966 766 044

For all other boroughs:


phone: 07971 952 437

How learning and development has gone virtual at Thames Reach

We spoke with Sarah Jeeves, Learning and Development Officer, about her work coordinating staff training as it moves online

How learning and development has gone virtual at Thames Reach

Learning and development is a crucial part of working at Thames Reach, and during the Covid crisis the ways in which staff have developed their roles and gained new skills have had to adapt. Thames Reach provide a year-round programme of training opportunities including Health and Safety, First Aid, Equality and Diversity and Social and Corporate Responsibility. We spoke with Sarah Jeeves, Learning and Development Officer, about how training has adapted to a new virtual way of working.

What were your main concerns about continuing your learning and development when lockdown started?

At first we were wondering what to do. Of course it wasn’t something we were prepared for, there was no Plan B but I wanted to keep the energy and strategy going despite lockdown. I’d never taught or facilitated teaching online before at Thames Reach, but I realised that we needed to adapt straight away. We still had the annual training programme to accommodate, as well as the Pathways Into Management initiative and the ILM [Institute of Leadership Management] qualification, both of which are training a group of internal candidates to progress in their career within Thames Reach into management roles.

How is virtual training going?

It’s been really well received. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well people have been engaging with everything. Staff seem to be taking it as an opportunity to improve confidence, as they can access training that would usually be done in groups from the comfort of their own home or office, so often will be more comfortable to ask questions and get involved. Across all training, places have stayed fully booked, so people are still engaged and ready to learn. We also have our cohort of trainees, who have come through the traineeship programme which is very popular. They were inducted at the start of May and are now on placement across Thames Reach, adhering to the same social distancing measures as all other staff. It’s going really well, I’ve been in regular contact with lead managers and the trainees’ supervisors and the feedback has been good so far.

How has training adapted?

While it’s definitely nice to have face-to-face interaction, under these circumstances we have to deal with the fact that this isn’t really possible. Now that we’ve gotten used to tech and the administrative side of things, we’re finding that training actually works better online, it’s more efficient. Our Cultural Diversity training, for example, works really well, as everyone can be in one virtual space at once while the trainer is talking, then we can split them into smaller groups once or twice over the course of the day. We do regular Emergency First Aid and Mental Health First Aid courses too, which can’t be done remotely due to the nature of the teaching, so that has been postponed for the time being.

As I said we haven’t been able to do Emergency First Aid as it’s not available from any trainer until lockdown is fully lifted, but it’s been great to see Senior Management get involved with training, and it’s clear that staff really appreciate it. I’ve been making and securing new relationships with trainers and organisers, which has been a big benefit. Homeless Link is one example who have been great to work with; they will be providing training on Managing Conflict, Violence and Aggression, to replace our Working with Challenging Behaviour training that had to be cancelled.

So it sounds like it’s generally been a positive experience. What are you bringing forward into learning and development in the future?

Building relationships with people internally and externally has been really good, I don’t usually get to sit in on training so I’ve learned a lot too. Even just getting to chat with other staff before the training starts has been really nice. I’ve been more hands-on with the tech and administrative sides of training, so it’s been a good learning curve for me. We’re definitely going to make the most of Zoom and Microsoft Teams in the future so training can fit around other work commitments and staff won’t have to travel. I was concerned that ILM and Progression Into Management candidates would lose motivation and momentum but we’ve seen people come together and make the most of virtual opportunities such as webinars, so we’re encouraged by this and looking forward to using these techniques going forward. I also organised Thames Reach’s first Staff Wellbeing Week last September, which was very successful. We’re currently working on doing an adapted version for this year, taking on board everything we’ve learned, so watch this space!


NB: Of course, the photo above was taken long before lockdown, from the fantastic Mental Health First Aid training run by MHFA England, which will resume for staff once lockdown is fully lifted

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