Talent Match Academy helps bridge generation gap
9 March 2017
Growing demand for services amidst ongoing local authority budget cuts has seen a national housing provider for older people explore innovative ways of supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and provide job opportunities for apprentices in the process.
Hanover Housing Association has joined forces with community regeneration charity Groundwork Greater Nottingham to create the Talent Match Academy. Based in Hanover Court in Billborough, the centre is helping to bridge the intergenerational gap by encouraging younger people to train as apprentices and support wellbeing activities for older people. The approach allows the apprentices to gain professional qualifications which they can use to gain future employment.
Talent Match -a Big Lottery Funded programme designed and led by young people -has had three apprentices in place at Billborough. Two have completed an NVQ Diploma Level 2 in Business Administration and one has completed an NVQ Level 2 in Catering. All were unemployed for over a year prior to taking up their apprenticeships.
As part of their work, the apprentices arrange and help to run low intensity exercise classes, provide low cost healthy meals through a lunch club and home delivery service, run craft sessions, and conduct IT drop-in classes.
Throughout the initiative, the apprentices have also been able to support and grow other Hanover-led resident activities, including annual Christmas festivities and community social events such as the Queen’s Birthday celebrations and Older People’s Day.
Claire Sarris, Hub Coordinator, said: 'The Apprentice experience at the TM Academy allows the young people the ability to develop their softer social and attitudinal skills to the world of work. Interaction with Hanover residents and staff allows the young people to build their confidence, abilities and ideas and the connection between younger and older people adds real value to their placement.'
One of the residents benefiting from the initiative is 68-year-old grandmother Daphne Williams who said: 'The apprentices who help run the hub are marvellous - I really enjoy socialising with them and with the people who come to utilise the facility.
'It’s a great way of sharing information between the two generations and we learn from each other. I feel my confidence has grown. Since joining the IT sessions I have managed to trace my ancestors and this has given me a keen interest in genealogy. Now even my estate manager is tracing her family tree and we share tips and information we find about each others heritage.'
Helen Brown, Estate Manager at Hanover Housing Association, said: 'Since its launch the community hub has helped reduce isolation amongst olde' people and is helping apprentices get their first foot on the career ladder. It’s proving to be a great success and a good example of working together to help improve life and learning opportunities for those living in the area.'