"I got into the 12-week shop traineeship through my coaches at Crisis. At first, when they were suggesting I try retail, I was thinking: ‘No, I won’t like it, it’s too many hours. You are always on your feet.’ But I tried it and now here I am looking for a retail job. My dream is to work for John Lewis.
When I started I didn’t really feel nervous because I had done other volunteering work. And I had also done drama and acting work through Crisis which helped me speak better and be more confident.
The training programme is definitely an eye-opener. I didn’t have much knowledge about what retail entailed. So watching the staff and how they interacted with customers taught me how to do it and increased my confidence. I learnt a lot from them.
I got on well with the other shop trainee too. We built up our confidence together. We are both kind of shy so we gave each other feedback, worked off and bounced off each other. I’ve got a good friend in her.
During the training I did the till, learnt how to do transactions, put together some displays, tagged, steamed, tidied the shop up, dealt with customers. It helped me communicate, read different people and understand them better. I even did some social media work – how to attract people to the business.
At the shop I had one main person I worked with. She was very supportive, very motivating. She helped me work through the modules and gave me feedback on the workbook we had to do. She also gave me very regular reviews of my work – at least every session.
At the shop I had one main person I worked with. She was very supportive, very motivating. She helped me work through the modules and gave me feedback on the workbook we had to do.
And back at Crisis Skylight I had regular sessions too. We worked on CV writing, interview practice, cover letter writing. Crisis has helped me a lot. It’s a wonderful facility. It gives you skills, support, help with housing, encourages you to help yourself and if you just want to meet people, that’s there as well.
I’ve just finished the course – my certificate was presented by Jeremy Corbyn! I’m getting help from Crisis and my coach to apply for part-time jobs in either retail or a coffee bar. The holiday period is coming up, so it’s a good time to be looking for this kind of work."