This week our Leicester Lifeskills Centre welcomed Sarah Monaghan (People Manager, Retail Support), Helen Robinson (Learning and Development Manager) and Rakesh Parmar (Resourcing Manager) from Dunelm Head Office based at Watermead Business Park, Syston.

The three professionals provided their time to chat to our young people, play pool and eat lunch together. This was a great opportunity for our young people to practice and enhance their communication skills, whilst becoming confident around unfamiliar people from business. This type of interaction starts to break down misconceptions that young people often have about the world of work; e.g. one young person said “they weren’t scary, they had normal clothes on and just had a chat”. 

The young people that took part are over half way through our 8-week ‘Engage’ programme which supports disengaged young people to acclimatise to longer-term study. ‘Engage’ helps young people to examine their own core strengths, areas of interest and employability competencies through four, two-week modules. Our dedicated team encourage each young person to set goals and develop the skills, knowledge and confidence required to positively progress towards further education, employment or training.


‘Work exposure’ is the term we use to describe the positive encounters that a young person has with business professionals. These encounters include (but are not limited to):

  • Talks: sharing your work place experiences to inspire our young people
  • Tours: welcoming a group of young people to visit your company and learn about the world of work
  • Workshops: leading the delivery of an employability lesson at one of our centres (with the support of our experienced tutors)
  • Light-Touch Sessions: spend time in one of our centres to talk to our young people in an informal setting e.g. having lunch, cooking/baking etc.
  • Networking: join our ‘speed networking’ sessions to provide our young people with the opportunity to practice communicating in a clear and concise manner


You can make a difference! If you would like further information on how to get involved in any of our programmes (our centres are based in Leicester, Loughborough and Derby), please contact Olivia Pitt (Corporate Manager) on 07376800641 or [email protected]