Category Archives: Anil

Anil’s story

By Salimah Bilal

Having formerly become homeless after a mental breakdown Anil dreamed of starting his own business. As he was not sure how to approach this he began attending short courses for adults out of work, as a step toward achieving his entrepreneurial goals.

This led to Anil being referred to the Big Issue online journalists and he immediately saw the course as a great way to develop his skills. Commenting on how the course benefited him he explained: “Joining the course helped me to establish a daily work routine of getting up in the morning, travelling or getting some work done and that gave structure to my life. I wanted an education so that I would have a good solid foundation, before I started on my business venture. This course was also a great opportunity to meet new people and socialise with those who may be in a similar position to myself.”

As a result of the course photography has now become a personal hobby of Anil’s and one which he said he greatly enjoys. ”It was so helpful just learning the basics of using a camera. It was great going out and taking photos, where we focussed on trying to capture a story from it.”

As well as helping to develop his photography skills the course also boosted Anil’s self-confidence. He said this gave him the belief that his business idea could be successful and helped him stay committed to the project. Speaking of the professional value of the course Anil said: “[It was] a great opportunity to network, as I had different connections that could help me with the startup of my business.”

Since completing the course Anil has put together a business plan and received funding for his Buzz Bike Hire Company; an electric bike hire scheme aimed at tourists, which features a unique delivery and collection system that he hopes will appeal to his target audience.

The Buzz Bike Hire Company is due to be launched within the next few weeks and talking about this next chapter in his life Anil commented: “It’s been daunting going into business because it’s something that I’ve never done before and you don’t know how it’s going to be received. It’s also difficult to set up a business with as little money as possible but I appreciate all the help that I have been given.”

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Week 6 Blog Post

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

Award ceremony Friday 13th December 2013.

So here I am.  My last day of training with Poached Creative and the Big Issue at the Elise Centre in Dalston. It’s been educational and insightful, two of the many things which has made the whole course enjoyable.

I have gained knowledge in using my Canon Bridge camera to the best of my ability.  And I have every intention of improving this ability with more practice.  There are many aspects of photography such as Photo Essays, lighting, aperture, shuttle speed and much more which has encouraged me to do more research and practice.  I hope that with practice I will be able to produce more great photos.

The journalist side of the training has showed me how news editorials, features, NIB’s and different styles of writing are complied and what the essence of a good story is. Although I am not a good writer, the training has given me much needed confidence which I’m proud of and I’ve started noticing the differing writing styles in newspapers.

Attending the course gave me a routine. Although only 2 days a week it soon became the high-light of my week. I live in NW London and the commute is an hour each-way but that did not deter me. I was determined to be there on time and to be there for all the sessions, although that was not always possible. Being in that “learning” environment was nice as wasn’t all class room.  We went out many times which really added to the fun. And the interactions with others was pleasant. I’ve met and interviewed some interesting people.  This would never have happened in my ‘normal’ life.  I now know that there is so much going on in the community sector. There are many ‘good’ people all around us and much to report.

Overall, the course, its contents, the tutors, the interviews, the venues, the sandwiches from Charles, the coffee, my classmates, the Blogs…. I could go on but am limited to the ‘word count’.  Simply put, it is a very will compiled course which anyone would benefit from. If you are thinking of enrolling then just do it.  It doesn’t cost a penny and the skills learnt are invaluable.

Thank you to ALL the TEAM.  Jessica, Zoe, Charles, Glenn, Grant, Tobias, Kezia and Adele.

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The Hair Project, providing young people with a helping hand

Pic: Anil Parmar: Andrew Curtis set up The Hair Project in 2010

Pic: Anil Parmar: Andrew Curtis set up The Hair Project in 2010

“I was that kid that grew up on a council estate without opportunities. Most of my friends that I grew up with either became drug dealers, have been murdered or ended up in prison” – these are the words of successful hairstylist Andrew Curtis and now one of the directors of The Hair Project, in Hoxton, East London.

Curtis, who trained at the Vidal Sassoon Academy from the age of 17. He progressed onto working in a Vidal Sassoon salon as an assistant to stylist. This was followed by many years of experience in other high-end salons. Continue reading

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December 6, 2013 · 1:06 pm

Bounce Back, helping ex-offenders into work

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Pic: Anil: Just like it says on the tin

By Ebony Ali

Bounce back is a painting and decorating charity and social enterprise that helps ex-offenders get back on their feet having completed their sentence.

The charity was set up in 2010 by Francesca Findlater as a means of giving back to the community by training and finding work for ex offenders. The charity trains them to become painters and decorators working anything from people’s homes till large commercial buildings. Continue reading

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Enterprise helps SMEs & unemployed pull themselves up by the Bootstrap

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While Dalston in east London has seen a huge investment and regeneration programme in recent years it has made it difficult for social enterprises and creatives to find affordable space to rent.

Fortunately long-running social enterprise Bootstrap is set-up to do just that. Founded in 1977 as a training and enterprise organisation the company has gone on to support and nurture charities, social enterprises small creative businesses based in and serving the community.

Poorly funded organisations such as Action for Children, the Latin American Women’s Refuge and the Refugee Women’s Association have all benefited from affordable space in an otherwise unaffordable area where not everyone has benefited from the influx of money and promises of social mobility.

Fiona Evans, who works with Action for Children, said: “Bootstrap enables us to reach local children who need our help, whether they are young carers, have Mental Health issues, as well as those who have trouble integrating at school or into the community.”

While funding by local government has been severely cut in recent years charitable organisations have had to learn to market themselves in recent years and so visits from Body Shop founder Anita Roddick and actor Eva Longoria have helped get the publicity they need as well as a moral boost.

However Bootstrap has not forgotten its roots of helping train and support young people into employment.

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas, who works at Bootstrap, was long term unemployed before he became their receptionist and he believes he would have found work a lot quicker had he learnt about Bootstraps intern programme, he said.

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Anil’s Dalston Slideshow

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November 15, 2013 · 4:12 pm

Housing charity wins night shelter award

Homeless support service Housing Justice has been awarded £92,400 by the Homeless Transition Fund to improve night-shelter services.

Volunteers will be trained and gain better skills to help their clients move onto suitable housing.

Volunteers across England and Wales will be trained to a Housing Justice Quality Mark (HJQM) standard to ensure consistency cross their services.

Alison Gelder, Chief Executive of Housing Services, said: “I am thrilled that we have been awarded this grant.  It will enable us to help church and community night shelters take their services to a new level.”

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