As explored in our earlier video piece, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has changed how our Talent Coaches are working.
This has not stopped them from continuing to be a vital source of practical and emotional support to young people.
We’re proud that our Talent Coaches have stood up to the rigorous demands of the last three months. Martina Convery, the Talent Coach at Manchester Young Lives, has accepted four new referrals onto the programme since the Covid-19 lockdown began and updated us with much needed good news of some positive progress for her young people.
Cara, 24, has been on GM’s Hidden Talent since the start of the programme in April 2019. At the time she had been sofa-surfing. With Martina’s help she moved back in with her Mum and opened a claim for Universal Credit.
In October last year, she secured a job in a bar in Middleton after a month-long trial. Cara was unfortunately furloughed at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
However, Cara has had some positive news…she is pregnant! She invited Martina to an outdoor, socially distanced gender reveal party at the start of June.
“It was a privilege to be invited to this special event. Cara will be having a little girl and I’m delighted for her and her partner. The next steps for Cara will be getting her into her own accommodation. I’ve provided a covering letter as part of her application to the council.”
Kieran, 21, has been working with Martina since August 2019. Kieran was not sure what he wanted to do with his future. He and Martina spent a long time weighing up options that would be appropriate and benefit him in the long-term.
Last month Martina helped Kieran with a successful application to a place on an arts course with Project Inc, a specialist college providing creative education for young people with additional learning needs.
The opportunity with Project Inc was shared on Workplace – a social media platform used by all Talent Coaches. Martina thought Kieran would be a great fit, knowing that he had real artistic flair – particularly in creating Manga-style illustrations. Martina rang Project Inc and was impressed by their support offer and supported Kieran with his application. Kieran’s course will start in September and in the meanwhile Project Inc have sent him a professional art pack to begin working with from home.
Jake has secured a job as a special residential support worker for young people. Jake has a degree in PE but was not sure what he wanted to do. Martina found out that he had been doing some pastoral work with family and suggested he look into residential support work to get more experience of working with young people. Martina helped him amend his CV to align with these kind of roles and worked on his interview technique. Jake would still like to do something PE-oriented and so Martina has linked him in with former GM Talent Match, Talent Coach, Micahel Worrall who works for Street League. The hope is, Jake can start a volunteering position with Street League later in the year.
At the end of last year Bernard completed an eight-week pre-Apprenticeship programme with Access Creative College and Manchester International Festival. During this, Bernard worked as a venue technician at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Bernard is determined to work in creative arts and has applied for a job with Contact Theatre. He has secured an interview but this is on-hold until Contact re-open. In the meanwhile, Martina is encouraging Bernard to keep his options open. Accordingly, he has very recently applied for classroom assistant position with Manchester Grammar School.