Gurmeet - Bridges

Gurmeet, 47, moved to the UK from India 6 years ago with her immediate family. Since then, she has worked on and off since as a part-time beautician. She had no formal education in India due to a very strict upbringing, and when not working relied solely on her husband for financial support.

Gurmeet felt that she wasn’t integrated into society, and that not being able to communicate efficiently held her back from getting a full-time permanent role. Even though she had plenty of beauty experience, she was only recruited at an adhoc basis. Struggling to integrate into British culture was causing Gurmeet to lack self-confidence. She felt afraid to speak to others outside of her home, and would sometimes be overcome with panic, which made it harder to express herself.

After finishing her role as a beauty therapist at a local beauty salon in 2016, she registered with Bridges, part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, and attended English as Second Language (ESOL) classes to improve her English. She wanted to increase her confidence in a work/volunteer environment as well as customer service skills, ultimately to integrate into the community and improve her family quality of life.

Gurmeet felt most comfortable in a women-only environment, and learned most efficiently when taking a holistic approach to skills development, and so Aspiring Futures ensured they provided this option. In her time at the project, Gurmett improved her communication and teamwork skills in and began building social relationships. Along with better communication, Gurmeet has a stronger understanding of English grammar and conversation.

Gurmeet is now working full time at a packing factory in Telford, where she enjoys having a regular income with benefits such as holiday pay and pension. She feels confident enough to start a beauty course at college in the coming academic year, in the hopes of gaining accreditation in beauty to help find a full time, stable salon job.

“I have learnt English grammar which I can use. I know how to use the past tense in the correct way and I am now developing my skills and confidence. Thank you so much for your help”