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Thames Reach trainees rejuvenate Southwark Council resource centre

MIMO trainee Hugh Carlin works on the Southwark Council building
MIMO trainee Hugh Carlin works on the Southwark Council building
17 August 2012

Trainees from a painting and decorating training scheme helping formerly homeless people get their lives back on track, have rejuvenated a busy Southwark Council resource centre.

The make-over was undertaken by Thames Reach’s Moving In Moving On (MIMO) project which will be based at the new Employment Academy in Camberwell when it opens later this year.

The Thames Reach MIMO project aims to boost people’s self confidence and skills set in a bid to help them find work. The only criteria for getting on the ten-week course is that participants have had an experience of homelessness and are motivated to learn new skills.

The trainees put these new found skills to work on the Southwark Council Multi-Purpose Resource Centre in Westminster Bridge Road, home to a range of community groups.

Hugh Carlin, aged 55, is one of the trainees. He ended up sleeping in a tent after moving to London last year but is now in a hostel and looking forward to moving into his own flat.

“I heard about MIMO through a friend originally. We looked it up on the internet together as I was interested in getting back into work and MIMO sounded like the ideal way to learn about current painting and decorating techniques. I was really chuffed when I heard I’d got onto the course.

“We’ve had to totally redecorate the rooms at the resource centre. We’ve had to fix some of the water damaged plaster work and fit new skirting boards in places.

“I’ve learnt so much on the course. And it was great having this practical project at the end of the training as we can put into practice what we’ve learnt. I’d even say I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought I would. All the guys involved are great and have made me feel a part of the team.

“I’m due to start my City and Guilds course in painting and decorating soon. After that I want to get back into full time work and eventually get my own place again. It feels like I’m starting a new life at the age of 55.”

For more details on the MIMO course, see:

www.thamesreach.org.uk/what-we-do/training-and-work/painting-and-decoration-course/