Having been a peer mentor with ICM for 9 months, I was delighted and excited, to be offered a role as a GROW Trainee. During my time peer mentoring, I have gained lots of new skills and confidence, which has enabled me to make the decision to go into paid employment.
Being involved with Shelter, the Core Group and the ICM Hub, has also given me an understanding of how ICM works and the objectives it aims to achieve.
During the Induction fortnight, there was plenty of support and advice, around the transition from benefits to paid employment. This included some excellent advice from Shelter’s, specialised benefit team. There was also opportunities, to speak to current GROW Trainee’s about any beneficial training courses and what they enjoyed about their grow traineeship. Some of the current grows also gave advice, on what they would do different, such as having personalised tutors for college courses.
There was also relevant training during the induction period. This included e-learning and attending the ICM team training. This gave an opportunity to meet the rest of the team, and gain an understanding of the different pathways involved with ICM.
Being involved with ICM, through the core group and peer mentoring with clients, has allowed me to gain a good understanding of the ICM programme aims. It has allowed me to stay involved with the Programme Learning and Evaluation Group and I have also been able to build positive relationships with professionals from other agencies, other ICM team members and many of the clients.
This has made the transition, from volunteer to paid worker, a smoother journey. It has made my first few weeks, as a Grow Trainee, less stressful and allowed me to work with clients more confidentially.