January 6, 2023

The Hub

Epsom & Ewell Employment Hub coordinator, Claudia Aristide explains - nearly one year on from opening their doors last December - the impact and effect a post-covid world has had on young adults seeking work in our community and the turnaround stories their support has since provided for so many.

The Hub, The Lowdown

“The Hub acts as a bridge; between local businesses, local employers and young adults in our community to help them secure sustainable employment. It’s a safe place, somewhere to express themselves and get the support they need. The job sector is challenging but we’re giving these candidates the correct tools and the confidence to really thrive in the workplace.”

No One Gets Left Behind

“Any young person wondering about their next step can drop in for a chat. Initially, parents can come in but the ‘handover’ needs to be made; it’s important that the young person takes ownership of their own destiny. We support everyone whatever their skills and abilities may be. We have university students who lost their parents to Covid – that’s the reality. We’re supporting students who were doing well at school but then suffered massively during the pandemic. We see qualified young people, ready to work, who are trying but aren’t getting the positions. For them, support with CVs, interview prep or mentoring are avenues we explore. We work with local agencies, including the Refugee Network; we recently supported two brothers needing help with GCSE and university requirements so helped explain and unpick what was a totally foreign education system for them.”

Your Mind Matters

“Many young people shrunk into themselves during the pandemic; we offer online help if they prefer a virtual meet and help build confidence from there and we check in with everyone regularly if we haven’t seen them for a while. Working with Epsom Primary Care Network is an amazing resource to have in The Hub; from talks in Starbucks or the park, these are a cluster of NHS GPs and mental wellbeing teams who pop over monthly to support our young people and the Step Forward Project is a youth hub who meet once a week to discuss mental wellbeing.”

Never Give Up

“It’s not uncommon for young people to come in here thinking they have little to offer. Our aim is to help unpick all their skills and experience (it’s all of value) if they help out a parent or volunteer or have seen a certain part of the world; we help them place value on those experiences and present them in a way that speaks to a professional environment. We help them practice critical thinking skills, to define what they want for themselves and how they might go about getting it, looking at role models – be able to see what you want to be – but also have the courage to define and create something that might not be out there already. 

Yes, there are extreme cases but I never not feel hopeful because I see the growth and change. It’s a privilege to watch that hope manifesting; put faith and belief in these young adults and you see it coming back.” 

We’re Moving

From 1st Nov 2022, The Hub will be based at Global House, 2nd floor, 1 Ashley Avenue, Epsom KT18 5AD.

Interested in mentoring or are you aged 16+ and would like more info with volunteering at The Hub? Email epsomandewellhub@surreyllp.org.uk or call 01372 282 101 

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