As a child, Christine had abusive parents and was permanently taken into care when she was very small. When she was older, completing college was a huge achievement for her, as she was experiencing homelessness and battling persistent troubles with extended family members at the time.
Having such a difficult start in life really took its toll on Christine, who, after fighting so many battles in her early life, became depressed and desperately needed a helping hand to move on.
Eventually, Christine was receiving support from Cricklewood Homeless Centre when her key worker referred her to the Ready for Work programme run by Business in the Community. Being a bright, articulate and motivated young woman, the Managers at Business in the Community knew that Accenture would be the perfect place for her to learn new skills and realise her potential.
Christine was prepared for her two week work placement at Accenture but she was still nervous! As soon as she met her Buddy, Nuala Treanor, she knew the programme was right for her;
“She was so friendly, I was worried she would be patronising but Nuala always had time for my questions and made me feel like I was worth listening to.”
The pre-placement training offered by Ready for Work helped build Christine’s confidence and also teach her successful techniques for interview and working with people. But the learning truly began at Accenture.
“I really enjoy working with computers” Christine explains, “So at Accenture it was great to learn about different software and broaden my IT skills.”
Christine loved working in an office - her time management abilities really improved and by the end of the placement she didn’t want to leave Accenture;
“Very quickly I felt comfortable and began to build my confidence. I looked forward to work every morning - everyone was so friendly at Accenture – you could even talk to people in the lift!”
After her time at Accenture, Christine was partnered with her job coach who helped her make tough decisions about what she wanted from her future;
“I have always been interested in computer programming and game designing” Christine explains, “so working with computers with Accenture enabled me to focus my efforts on looking into IT-based courses.”
Christine has been accepted onto a Computer Science course at the Greenwich School of Management starting in February. The course will help her future plans to work in computers and game design.
“Before Ready for Work, I had basically given up because I was always getting knocked back and messed around. The programme opened doors that had been closed to me and it gave me the confidence push I needed to move forward in my life.”