Before joining us at Miss Macaroon, Helen was a primary school teacher and also helped to run small businesses. Her new role gets to mix both of her experiences, and she enjoys that she now has more freedom to really make a difference outside the constraints of the school system. “I’m a proud Brummie”, she says, “and the local community is dear to me. I wanted to make a difference to young people who live in the area”.
Helen says eating is one of her favourite activities, especially her mother-in-law’s home cooked Sri Lankan food. She also likes watching and learning how to cook from her.
Q - “What do you do at Miss Macaroon? How long have you been here?”
A - “I’m the Programme Leader, and I’ve been here for a few weeks.”
Q - “What’s a typical day like for you?”
A - “I’ve been in the kitchen a lot this week learning how to make the macaroons. Rosie likes to challenge me to do things that I’d normally find difficult, so when I’m delivering training I can be more understanding and relate when the trainees find things difficult. I’ve also been trying to get involved with the marketing activities, which is outside of my normal job scope and my comfort zone. Apart from this, I meet a lot with external agencies, building relationships with case workers and local companies. For example, I’ve met with Crisis and Shelter this week, and the HR manager of Marriott to hopefully secure further work experience placements for our graduates.
Networking is very important in this kind of job, as new organisations are always coming and going. I recently heard about “Suited for Success”, an organisation which lends suits to those who need it for interviews, and now has started offering their service to women. I’d say I like mentoring the most, and helping people realise what they’re capable of. So far, I’m working with five graduates. Yesterday one of our graduates passed an interview with Miss Macaroon to work here and she was ecstatic. It was a real feel-good moment.”
Q - “What’s your favourite macaroon flavour?”
A - “Pistachio”
Q - “What’s an interesting fact about you?”
A - “I taught English in Korea a few years ago, in a town called Jeju. It was a part of the government-led English language programme - EPIK. I actually flew out the day before the massive tsunami in Japan in March 2011, and we heard the announcement on the plane.”
Q - “Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?”
A - “I want to build my own house from scratch, possibly in the Warwickshire countryside. So I’d hopefully be living there.”
Our MacsMAD training course is specially designed for disadvantaged young people who need to build their confidence, experience and soft working skills. If you know anyone who could benefit from the scheme, or if you’re an organisation who’d like to help make a difference by offering work experience to our graduates, please get in touch with Helen by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling at 07539 842381.