To us, embracing diversity means seeing the potential of every individual and capitalising on their strengths and interests so they can reach their full potential.
We have seen this value in action in our Work + Learning programme, funded by Big Lottery Fund, which helps our customers improve their confidence, motivation and employability skills and supports them into training, education and employment. This year, we ran a digital inclusion project in partnership with Good Things Foundation and Homeless Link, where a group of peer mentors used their diverse gifts and strengths to encourage other customers to improve their digital skills.
The mentors included Junior and Karen from Alexandra House with David and Daniel from our Bromley services. Each brought their unique abilities to the group; some knocking on customers’ doors in order to publicise the events, whilst others set up equipment and delivered training. All the mentors inspired other customers to get involved with the digital programme which included IT workshops, an Accumul8 photography course and film via Open Cinema Foundation.
“Being a peer mentor really helped boost my confidence- it was encouraging to know that Evolve really valued my input,” David said.
Collectively the group volunteered over 600 hours of their time encouraging 118 customers to attend the digital inclusion workshops and Open Cinema season. They inspired their fellow customers to realise their full potential and have been fantastic role models.
Being a peer mentor has also had wide-reaching benefits for the mentors themselves – Dan has now moved on into independent accommodation and co-runs a music production workshop with our Work + Learning Team.
“My confidence has grown,” Dan said, “I’ve been using my knowledge to tutor customers, which is something I couldn’t have done, a few years back. For the first time in years, I can see a bright future ahead.”
If you would like to read more stories about our customers, please see our annual report for 2016.
If you would like to support the vital work we carry out with homeless people in London, please see our donations page.