The event celebrates achievements of young people in the area and the extension of the Circle Collective partnership
Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East, and Deputy Mayor of Lewisham Council, Councillor Alan Smith, joined 20 young people at Lewisham Shopping Centre to celebrate their graduation from a pioneering ‘Get Employed’ training course, run by the centre’s owners Landsec and social enterprise Circle Collective.
Ailish Christian-West, Head of Shopping Centres at Landsec, led the graduation for the candidates, who have completed a five-week course that equips 18-30-year olds with skills that will further help them kick start their careers: from workshops on employability, personal finance, rights and responsibilities and employers’ expectations; to mentoring and one-to-one sessions and all-important work experience in the Circle Collective store in Lewisham Shopping Centre.
Since its inception, Circle Collective has helped more than 250 young local unemployed people into work and it is continuing to expand, enabling the organisation to support even more young people.
The event also celebrated the ongoing success of the Circle Collective store at Lewisham Shopping Centre and the extension of the partnership for a further year. The store opened in October 2017 and, to date, has provided over 100 work experience shifts for unemployed young people in the Lewisham area, as well as featuring limited edition clothing lines from Lewisham and other London Boroughs.
Turly Humphreys, CEO of Circle Collective, commented: “Circle Collective is so proud to have this opportunity to show what amazing young people we’ve had on our course and to celebrate their graduation in the centre for the second year in a row. We’ve supported the opening of a new Wilko store in Lewisham Shopping Centre with seven of our young people securing permanent jobs. According to Wilko’s HR manager, the team were ‘impressed with how motivated, prepared and ready to get into work’ the Circle Collective candidates were.”
Landsec has supported Circle Collective for over five years. Throughout the partnership, Landsec has provided corporate days with tours and talks by staff on job opportunities, work experience, funding for training courses, as well as free retail space. The business has also offered jobs for candidates through Landsec’s partners and at the company’s head office in Victoria.
Ailish Christian-West added: “Landsec is committed to working with our charity partners to help people into work, providing support and education in response to issues local to our shopping centres. Our partnership with the Circle Collective is proof of what can happen when businesses and local organisations come together to improve the lives and prospects for young people across London – we have been able to train and help hundreds of individuals get onto the career ladder.”
Any volunteers interested in supporting the fantastic work undertaken by Circle Collective can visit www.circlecollective.org, where you can also shop the independent designer collections stocked by the store.
Lewisham Shopping Centre has 65 shops covering the best of high street names. For more information please visit www.lewishamshopping.co.uk.
CASE STUDIES – meet the young people supported by Circle Collective