Facework Ukraine project among the award winners as a successful pilot of partnership work in London
The Facework Ukraine project was recognized as one of the best employability training programs among 12 London boroughs united by CLF Connecting Communities to support residents in training and sustainable work.
On April 25, at the Guildhall, the ancient hall of London, the CLF Connecting Communities celebrated the success of programme Bridge to Success, a free service to support London residents into full-time employment.
Lewisham Works received “Partnership Work Award” from CLF Connecting Communities for their partnership with the local community and Facework Group CIC on Facework Ukraine project.
The Facework Ukraine project was implemented by Lewisham Work in partnership with Facework CIC Group.
Elena Draganova, co-initiator of the Facework Ukraine project and the dedicated caseworker of team Lewisham Works, is very experienced in one-to-one tailored support to local residents to identify their job goals and aspirations to take a step towards creating a new career path.
Understanding the work needs of displaced Ukrainians, Elena supported a training programme for Ukrainians to help them be trained and access qualified jobs in London:
At the recent CLF event, we were honored to receive award for our partnership with Facework Ukraine, which has allowed us to expand our reach and provide even more support to job seekers in our community. We were able to match two of our highly skilled residents who arrived not long ago in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme with the team at Face.Work.
During partnering with Lewisham Works, Facework CIC launched Facework Ukraine projects with the newly created team (Mariana Vinyarska – Chapter Lead, Halyna Skvortsova – Marketing Executive, Stephen Carrick-Davis – Director) and organized the 10 employability sessions for Ukrainians in London. The sessions were delivered by various professionals at Hatcham House and covered valuable information on job searching, soft skills and self-employment. Lewisham Works (Connecting Communities) delivered sessions on Effective Job Searching (Elena Draganova – Employment and Training Advisor) and CV Writing and Cover Letter (Hazel Dales – Principal Jobs and Skills Officer).
It was a real pleasure to be part of this collaboration and witness the growth of Facework Ukraine, the passion, drive and expertise of the team behind it and see the positive impact it had on everyone who participated! - said Elena Draganova.
By building strong relationships with both residents and local employers in the area, the team of employment advisors at Lewisham Works (Connecting Communities) is able to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. This allows to provide more tailored support to job seekers, find them long-lasting employment, needed training and specialised placements.
The successful collaboration between Lewisham Works (Connecting Communities) and Facework Ukraine created opportunities for future expanding and growth, added value to lives of many foreign professionals, encouraged self-believe and created a community hub for many displaced Ukrainians.
Stephen Carrick-Davies, Director of Facework Group:
We are so proud to be part of the awarded project Facework Ukraine. We congrats the team of Lewisham Work which are winner “Partnership Work Award” for the project which was done in collaboration with us, Facework Group.
Halyna Skvortsova, member of Facework Ukraine team:
In the end of last year my advisor Elena told me about a new project - employability training for Ukrainians. Then Lewisham Works sponsored my position and the position of another Ukrainian woman Mariana for the next 6 months and we can be part of the team which runs the pilot career training programme FACEWORK UKRAINE. Mariana Vyniarska is a program coordinator and I am responsible for marketing.
Mariana Vyniarska, Facework Ukraine Chapter Lead, recalled how it began:
It was very valuable for me to meet Elena who then helped me to make a contact with Stephen who is Facework director. We did not know at the beginning what will we do and where we will end up. But after having spoken to Stephen who described what Facework does for young people in the UK and other parts of the world I realized that this is something that could be very useful for Ukrainians who are displaced because of the war in Ukraine. Being a refugee is not an easy choice, very often it is a choice that people would prefer not to make, because of lots of challenges people face on the new place. To have opportunity to work, to develop, to grow and to do the type of work people studied for and are qualified at - is one of the biggest challenge. People face lots of obstacles - starting from diplomas accreditation and finishing with important soft skills that people lack for specific type of work, especially taking into account cultural and national differences, different mentality, etc.
Facework Ukraine organised ten employability sessions which were led by 10 different professionals from various organisations to help Ukrainians grow their confidence and develop skills that will help them access jobs and create successful careers. Within Facework Ukraine project meetings with local employers in London Bridge were organized - to help match employers and employees, communicate, and define the main needs.
It was about 25 trainees In-person and about 40 trainees Online. The age of trainees was from 18 to 65 years old. There were lawyers, journalists, accountants, financial directors, teachers, marketers, designers, logisticians, engineers, architects and private entrepreneurs, etc.
Facework Ukraine's trainees highly appreciated the possibility to be trained and connected with other Ukrainians.
Among feedback we could hear:
’Now, after completing this course, I am full of energy and I feel enough brave to continue my job search. I studied a lot about job strategy and job interviews, I improved my confidence and enterprising skills. I met employability experts and interesting people with different professional backgrounds, learned how to present and sell myself, and many more interesting things... Especially thankful to FW for this supportive community which helped me calm down and gave me the possibility to go ahead. It's an amazing team and truly my people!’ - Tetiana, a trainee.
Another trainee Anna said:
This course is really about the environment and about people. For the first time here, I realized this environment is important to me, these people now are like my family, it’s so supportive. I am happy to be here'
Facework Ukraine's trainee Vira considers sharing this experience with other people:
'It was hard for me to find Ukrainian people in London and I think it’s a very important reason to have these courses. These people motivated me and I got a job. And it’s very important to be supported by other Ukrainian people because we have already met and changed but there are a lot of people who just came to the UK and they feel worse than we do as they don’t have communication and support.'
Mariana Vyniarska, Facework Ukraine Chapter Lead, summarising:
It is important for us - Ukrainians to be united in difficult times, and to be able to support each other, it helps us to live through these hard times… It is an honor for us to be able to be useful, and this became possible due to many factors, but the main one - is enormous support from the British people, the importance of which can’t be overestimated.
Now a team of Facework Ukraine has an idea not only about the support of people who are currently in the UK but also who are in Ukraine too. FW thinks about the legacy of this program, and how to create interesting content for young people that can be used in the future on online platforms.
Connecting Communities Programme is funded by Greater London Authority and the European Social Fund (GLA/ESF) to support residents across 12 London boroughs in training and sustainable work. Bridge to Success, the employment service with a social purpose, is the City of London Corporation's Connecting Communities programme that works with local people aged 18+ helping them upskill and improve their confidence and life chances through employability.
Central London Forward (CLF) is a partnership of the 12 central London local authorities (Camden, the City of London, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth or Westminster) to support inclusive and sustainable growth in central London.