In 2016 we celebrated 10 years of becoming a limited company.
To mark the occasion we asked Clean Slate staff past and present for their favourite memory from the last decade, here's what they said:
"When Pete came to us his confidence was at rock bottom.
Several attempts to get back in to work had failed, through the hostility and actions of others and in spite of the clear effort that had been put in by him. He disclosed his criminal record to us and told his story as part of our risk assessment. Once he knew that the risk assessment was to protect him from other people as much as it was to assess the (perceived) risk he posed to them, he opened up and a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. We took him through the induction and watched his confidence grow week-by-week, his smile getting broader and deeper.
At the end of the course he had secured agency work and went on to be given a full-time job. Seeing the change in his confidence and watching his hard work pay off is exactly what Clean Slate is for and was one of the most profoundly rewarding things I have ever been a part of.
I actually bumped into him at the Colston Hall the other week doing some stewarding/security work. He's still doing well, and still smiling!"
Andy Waitt, Clean Slate Administrator 2013-2014
"The 7 Signs training made me think about what I did have to offer.
I recognised skills that I had taken for granted or just didn’t believe were of value. It also enabled me to focus and by the end I had a clearer view of what I wanted to do.I found the confidence to believe in myself once again and felt more positive about presenting myself to employers. I felt very motivated.
Moving quickly into paid work [with Clean Slate] was fantastic as it reinforced to me what the trainer had said. Although I thought I was capable, here I was doing it. Being employed gave me a real sense of achievement.
I was so excited when I was offered the job. Working more hours and getting a decent wage is very satisfying. I see prospects for the future now, and my daughter’s face when I told her we might be able to have a holiday this year said it all."
Denise Vilanou, London Work Champion 2014-2015
"Clean Slate brings out the best in people.
I still can't put my finger on the precise reason why. Perhaps it's the warm welcome you get from everybody in the organisation, without exception. Or the 'can-do' attitude of Clean Slate staff. It could be the flexibility with which help and support is offered, or the quality of the training, or the fact that people coming to Clean Slate aren't met with suspicion, requests for criminal records checks, or interrogation the first time they come in. It's probably a combination of these things.
In my time as Training Manager, I noticed that all too often, I would meet up with a fellow 'professional' who was working with a Clean Slate member, and that 'professional' would express astonishment at what had been achieved. 'How on earth did you get him to do that?' they would ask. 'What do you mean, he got up at 7am and did a full delivery round? And wasn't drunk? And came back the next day, and did it again?'
I’m now training to be an Occupational Therapist, so now, my answer to that question would be that we had combined that person’s motivation with a strong sense of effectiveness, empowering them to act. But really, Clean Slate wasn’t – isn’t – that kind of organisation. A peer-led service, independent and proudly so, run by and for the people it serves. In-work support rather than sheltered work. A real, profit-making business, requiring real hard work, with rewards of community and mentoring as well as a living wage, not just an imitation of it.
In my time at Clean Slate, I learnt a lot about developing projects, working in partnership with stubborn organisations who would not respond to evidence, managing a budget and pulling hope out of thin air. Most of all, I learnt that what I’d always suspected was true – in every person, however deep down, is the desire to do things. More responsive organisations like Clean Slate can make that more of a reality."
Pamela Iyer, Clean Slate Training Manager 2013-2014
"In my time with Clean Slate my confidence and self-esteem grew.
In December 2013 I was made redundant from my job of 5 years working as a medical clerk. I felt I still wanted to stay in the NHS and after completing a pre-employment course in Summer 2014 I was informed about a training and employment company called Clean Slate based in Stockwell.
At the end of July of that year I attended a 2 day induction with Clean Slate and at the end of the second day I was approached by Jeff offering me a part time position working as a Work Champion.
In my time with Clean Slate my confidence and self-esteem grew. I knew this was the right direction for me and it became very apparent just how unhappy I had been in my previous job. At Clean Slate I found my job in helping other vulnerable individuals so rewarding, I looked forward to each day engaging with the service users. I started at Clean Slate as a Work Champion and within a year was helping in management. My position became a Senior Work Champion. My journey through Clean Slate would not of been possible without the help and support of my colleagues, volunteers and also Dan the communications officer and lastly but not least, Jeff.
I am very grateful to all involved and know this is just the start of my journey.
I am at present working with Clean Slate and Thames Reach on a new project as a Peer Advisor and also studying my Health and Social Care Level 2 Diploma."