There is nothing more satisfying than making a difference to people’s lives. People struggle to find a job after redundancy or to find a way to get on the career ladder. Now, thanks to TrainE-TraidE, not only do they have a job, but they have future prospects available to them. That's a high point of my role – there is simply no feeling in the world like that.
In the seven short years since TrainE-TraidE started, we’ve grown from supporting a relatively small number of people to working with more than 2,000 people per year, men and women of all ages and across the community. We’re no longer only in London – we now have a regional offering in Manchester too. But there is still so much we can do.
Ultimately, TrainE-TraidE is about helping people to be able to support themselves and their family in a dignified manner. Contrary to the myth that every Jew has plenty of money and is very well connected, most of us are just ordinary people who need that leg up to get started, and some people need more than just a leg up.
It’s wonderful how focused around the pillars of charity our community is, whether it is taking care of old people or ensuring our shuls and schools are secure. Helping people to earn a sustainable living is fundamental and one of the highest forms of charity, and I feel that TrainE-TraidE is really making its mark as one of these pillars of the community. My aspiration is to cement this even further over the next few years, and bring to the forefront of people’s minds the importance of this cause.
We’re very proud of our achievements so far and ambitious about the future, because there is scope to impact so many more lives. In November we are moving to new premises up the road in Finchley. It's around 6,500 square foot of shared workspace, meeting rooms, and a cafe that will be open to everybody, and I want it to be a Google campus for the Jewish community – the idea is to make it somewhere people want to go to. The more people that are attracted to our campus, the more opportunity we will be able to offer.
We believe that if people aim higher they can achieve more, we want to be able to provide the infrastructure for them to be able to accomplish their dreams, whether that means mentoring those starting up a business or helping someone secure their perfect job.
It has certainly been a busy few years for us, and credit has to be given to the two founding trustees, Mark Morris and Maurice Golker. They have had the vision to see it through from the beginning, and without them nothing would have happened.
This job still excites me. I would have thought that by now I would really know how people work and have seen it all - what surprises me is that I learn new things about people every day!