Thames Reach
Friday 17 November 2017
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Case studies

Read and listen to people's stories and views of people involved in Thames Reach's user employment scheme, GROW.

These case studies include lessons that have been learnt and developments that came about as a result of people's circumstances. Listen to the audio below or read stories from the links on the left.

Audio case studies

audio/mpegAudio - A personal experience of funding issues (3.08 MB)18/12/2007Download
 Christine Smith-Gillespie, Director of Finance and Central Services, recounts her positive experience of trainees within Central Services; the opportunities GROW presents to organisations; and the process of funding and mainstreaming the programme. 
audio/mpegAudio - Alpheus's story (4.29 MB)28/01/2008Download
 Alpheus, former GROW trainee, recounts his journey from heroin addiction and homelessness to his role as support worker in Southwark Reach. He covers the challenges he overcame; the highlights along the way; and the contribution he can make as an ex-service user. 
audio/mpegAudio - An initial sceptic explains his conversion (7.56 MB)05/12/2007Download
 James Francis, Director of Street and Hostel Services, explains how his initial fears that resources would be diverted from experienced staff involved in direct help were overcome; how the organisation has changed for the better as a result of GROW; and tips for replication. 
audio/mpegAudio - Dennis's story (4.28 MB)28/01/2008Download
 Dennis, a GROW trainee at Southwark Reach, describes how he moved from homelessness to the traineeship programme - the challenges he faced and the benefits it brought for both him and Thames Reach. 
audio/mpegAudio - Experiences of a Life Coach (2.94 MB)30/01/2008Download
 A life coach's view - Pauline Jobson, Strategic Support Team Manager, shares her experience of being a life coach; how privileged she felt and her love for the role. 
audio/mpegAudio - Interview with Terri Alafat, CLG (3.70 MB)30/01/2008Download
 A response from Communities and Local Government - Terrie Alafat, Director of Housing Strategy and Support in CLG, discusses the difference in approach between the US and UK; how and where GROW links in with CLG's aims and Supporting People framework; and how it successfully meets targets such as user-engagement. 
audio/mpegAudio - Key issues in GROW (6.03 MB)30/01/2008Download
 View from the GROW Project Manager - Kath Dane discusses key issues: the need for individual support, dealing with coming off benefits, salary loans, setting clear and realistic expectations; the effects of GROW on trainees; its impact; and shares key lessons. 
audio/mpegAudio - Kristina's story (4.08 MB)30/01/2008Download
 Kristina recounts how being a GROW trainee gave her the chance to move into employment, describing the challenges, the support and the opportunities the programme gave her.  
audio/mpegAudio - Managers and supervisors pass on their experiences (7.19 MB)05/12/2007Download
 Jasprit, John, Jenny and Andy pass on their experience as managers and supervisors of trainees. They detail the many benefits, some of the pitfalls and the best way to deal with them, and conclude with a few unanswered questions. 
audio/mpegAudio- Paula's story (1.89 MB)30/01/2008Download
 Trainee Paula shares her experiences of GROW - the support received, how the trainee group can learn from each other and what the trainees contribute to the organisation as a whole. She concludes with her hopes for the future of GROW.