Supporting the Development of Shelter’s GROW Programme


Together with the SG UK Foundation, we are proud to be supporting Shelter for five years, funding its Getting Real Opportunities of Work (GROW) Programme.

GROW helps break down barriers to employment by awarding paid placements to people who have lived through the trauma of poor housing and homelessness: GROW Trainees.

Supporting a 15-Month GROW Programme Pilot

When GROW was introduced, all traineeships took place over a 12-month period. This time frame was set out as the optimum time for GROW Trainees to gain real experience of work, build employment skills, and improve their confidence. While the 12-month traineeships brought a lot of value, Shelter also received feedback from trainees and their line managers that trainees could benefit from more time on the programme.

Thanks to our funding, Shelter has been able to run a pilot to test extending GROW to a 15-month timeline. The trial was a success, with trainees reporting increased levels of confidence and being able to relax into their role without worrying about their time coming to an end quickly. The additional three months has also given trainees the opportunity to embed deeper within Shelter’s culture, with more time to shadow other teams and improve their working knowledge of the housing emergency.

GROW Trainee Reflections on the Pilot

Find some reflections below from the GROW Trainees who benefitted from the pilot:

“No doubt, the extension is an exceptional opportunity… At this point in my traineeship, I am working on building skills for jobs using the extra time I have been given. I am fortunate for having so many opportunities arise while I am here. You can’t believe how much support and recognition I am receiving from all. Thank you.” GROW Trainee

“Firstly, I just want to start off by saying I appreciate being one of the 10 GROW Trainees to trial this out. Making it 15 months has made it exciting for me as I can try different things out to progress further with my career.” GROW Trainee

“It has taken me a little while to settle in, which at the beginning of my traineeship was quite daunting. Fast forward six weeks, I am now starting to find my feet. The extension of three months is a HUGE sense of relief: allowing me additional time, to get the most out of the traineeship, e.g. exploring different departments within Shelter / taking on even more responsibilities and duties further down the line.” GROW Trainee

Supporting the GROW Programme Legacy

The success of the pilot means that Shelter will now be offering 15-month contracts to all future GROW Trainees. Together with the SG UK Foundation, we are delighted to see our combined funding support Shelter in enhancing the impact of this life-changing programme.

Find out more about our partnership here.