Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Link4Growth NE London, on the road again in E17!

On 17th September, Jane Walker and I were heading for the Adult Learning Centre in Queens Road Walthamstow, laden down with pull up banners, flyers, and everything else we needed to exhibit Link4Growth at the borough’s annual jobs fair.  The day started well with someone giving us a helping hand along the way and the weather was promising too, the sort of day when you’re itching to be out and about, much different from the day before. 
This year the fair had been moved upstairs and we had no idea where our stall would be, especially as we were a bit different from everyone else, in that we didn’t have any jobs to offer.  We were pleasantly surprised to find our stall was in a large and airy room with plenty of light, a far cry from those pitched up in the corridor outside the disabled toilet!
So far, so good.  We were warned that there would be hundreds of people descending on this part of town and any time soon.  It seemed a bit hard to believe that this was going to happen.  Then at 10.00am the doors opened and the room filled up and it was pretty much like this until 3.00pm, when the event finished.  Thankfully Beverley Burke, one of our subscribers arrived in the morning and helped us out; we couldn’t have wished for a better and nicer ambassador for Link4Growth.
With two groups that meet regularly in Walthamstow, there was a lot of interest in what Link4Growth was doing locally.  I met so many interesting people on the day with a huge array of talents and skills, from plumbing to supporting mentally ill patients.  
People seemed genuinely interested in what we were doing and when we said we were volunteers this seemed to reinforce our message. Maybe, after being exhibitors at a number of community events in the last year or so, we are now better able to articulate the value of talking to other people, and establishing connections with others who could potentially help now or in the future. 
You know what it’s like if you’ve been out of the workplace for some time or you’re struggling to get your first job, after a while your self-esteem and self-confidence can get knocked.  That’s why it was humbling when someone chose to share their story with me.  I do hope these people come to one of our events as they’ve got so much to offer and we will do our best to help them.
I had the privilege of delivering 2 business based seminars to a large number of people who wanted to work for themselves.  It goes without saying that I promoted the value of Link4Growth for improving inter-personal skills and for starting a business.  Yet, the greater value is in belonging to something that’s much bigger than you are, which is pretty much free to join in and where you get to feel good about yourself.  Let’s face it, these opportunities are few and far between. 
As a coach taking action is an essential part of what I do and profess to others who want to make progress in their lives. When I realised that we had had over 100 people actively join our mailing list from this event, I knew we had been in the right place at the right time.  Someone recently told me that she believed people come into your life when you need them most, and I think this is true for Link4Growth too.  I’m looking forward to meeting some of these people again, and soon!
Debra Oakaby

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