“We are not about ‘jobs’ we are about ‘careers’” – Melissa’s story
After a difficult year of restrictions and more lows than highs for young people, Melissa* was looking forward to pursuing her career again. She had always wanted to become a radio host and work in marketing. But she was unsure of how to get there without experience or a network of people working in these industries.
Luckily, during lockdown Melissa came across ‘The Future Is Creative’ programme, developed by Islington-based youth-led organisation Small Green Shoots. “A group of low-income young people get the opportunity to become online programmers and content creators, to attend sessions to learn about visual design software and have Q&As with executives in local businesses such as Virgin Records or Google to develop their network”, explains Constance Gibbs, Programme Manager at Small Green Shoots . The aim of the programme run during Covid-19 is to give local young people the opportunity to plan and build their careers post pandemic.
Melissa took part in this intensive eight-week programme that was made possible thanks to funding from Islington Giving’s Young Grant-Makers 2020.
Small Green Shoots team, a youth-led charity offering an alternative to the conventional system for education, training and entry into the jobs market
During the programme, she had the opportunity to meet virtually with experienced music industry professionals, develop her content creation skills and start planning the next steps towards her career after the programme was completed.
As Small Green Shoots put it, “we are not about ‘jobs’ we are about ‘careers’, so we invest more in our young people from the outset. We want to make our local workforce culturally rich, truly diverse with equal access to all. Through developing ambition, transferable skills, the right connections, practical work-based training, confidence and resilience in our young people, we demonstrate that, bit by bit, we can make this happen”.
After the programme came to an end, equipped with new skills, contacts and confidence, Melissa was successful in getting a role as a breakfast show radio host for House FM as well as working for a local business as a Marketing Assistant, bringing the company’s profile to the digital space, and handling their social media account. Small Green Shoots, and the experience Melissa gained through the programme, helped her to achieve her dreams.
More money for youth led projects
Thanks to the donations to the Children and Young People’s Appeal, Islington Giving’s Young Grant-Makers 2021 will have more money to give out to local groups. Our Young Grant-Makers programme programme has been running for four years now and funds local projects that make a difference to young people in Islington. Young people who live in the borough make all the decisions about which projects to support, and that is what makes this programme so special.