29th January 2021

Meet the Journey Guides

A Journey Guide is your key contact who will guide & support you throughout your time on the project

Chelsea Fraser
Journey Guide -CWCDA

About me:  Hi my name is Chelsea, I have worked for CWCDA for 3 years, I actually began my journey with them as a participant of the Accelerate Project receiving support when I was unemployed, I then offered my time as a volunteer admin assistant which quickly turned into a paid position. After around a year I then began my role as a Journey Guide and absolutely love it!

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  I feel proud every day working as a Journey Guide supporting people but my proudest would probably be taking a small group of participants on a health and well being journey, completing a short course that I created, which each participant felt really improved their confidence and general wellbeing.

My hobbies:  I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going to festivals and love to break a sweat at the gym!

Leaei Farndon
Journey Guide/Tutor -CWCDA

About me:  Hi my name is Leaei (not many people can say it so here is an easier way 'Lee-Ay'). My journey began as a volunteer, helping the Accelerate team in Nuneaton with CV writing and creating Spec and Cover letters for participants. I quickly fell in love with the role and as soon as a part time position came up, I applied without hesitation. I am now a Journey Guide and Tutor for the Accelerate project, as a tutor I am also able to provide courses ranging from mindfulness, creative arts to IT skills. I have only worked for CWCDA for a short time but already feel part of the furniture.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  So far I would say helping participants realise their potential when given some encouragement and support. I am proud that I am able to support participants to build on existing skills and also learn new ones.

My hobbies:  Shopping… well who doesn’t love a good clothes shop, food (eating and cooking), I enjoy craft making , holidays and making memories with my family.

Leah Hutchby
Journey Guide -CWCDA

About me:  Hi, my name is Leah, I have worked for CWCDA for 10 years on many different projects and have been with Accelerate since the beginning. My background before that was Graphic Design.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  My proudest moment, so far, was helping a lady who had never worked before, helped with her confidence, interview techniques and supported job searching, she successfully gained employment in a school kitchen which meant she didn’t need childcare. It was reported in the local paper as well.

My hobbies:  I mainly enjoy reading horror stories, going to live gigs and walking my lovely labrador Ruby

Marie Tallis
Journey Guide/Team Leader -CWCDA

About me:  Hi my name’s Marie and I am the Journey Guide Team Leader for  CWCDA. For over 20 years I have been helping people to access training and secure employment. This is not just a job for me, I fully believe in the cause and have invested my working career in helping others reach their full potential.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  Now that’s a difficult one to pin point. In all honesty I am super proud of all the work I do for the Accelerate programme. From helping ex-prisoners, to supporting single parents, to moving participants into training and helping them secure paid employment. This project provides so much support to people and offers them a chance to remove barriers and move closer to the labour market. These participants would have previously felt alone and isolated. The Accelerate programme is definitely the best programme I have ever had the pleasure to be apart of and that in itself makes me feel proud.

My hobbies:  I love socializing with the team, enjoy home DIY, spending quality time with my grandchildren, movies, music and meditation for relaxation. I also write poems and enjoy reading and love to travel to tropical places.

Maxine Wykes
Journey Guide -CWCDA

About me:  Hi My name is Maxine and I am a journey Guide for the Accelerate project at the CDA I have worked here for 10 years. I have over 20 experience in providing Advice & Guidance, Career counselling, Mentoring, Employer Engagement and digital skills training.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  I worked with a participant on the Accelerate project who had suffered a stroke, the journey began by assisting in building on trust and his self-confidence, and then improving his digital skills. I then researched and secured funding at a local gym to gain a gym membership and personal trainer to help in his rehabilitation. This all added in improving his health & wellbeing, improving self-confidence and self-worth. I researched a local employer and he successfully progressed into part time permitted employment with them. Permitted work was ideal as it was tailored to suit the individual’s requirements and needs.

My hobbies:  I enjoy cooking, walking, watching motorsports and spending time with my family and friends.

Tim Bannister
Journey Guide -CWCDA

About me:  I have 20+ years experience of welfare to work in various advisory / mentoring roles. I have worked for CDA on the Accelerate project for the last three and half years and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and helping lots of people achieve their short and long term goals.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  Very difficult to select a moment as all participants that I help into work, training or with personal problems brings their own reward…but our funders recognising all the good work we do and seeing the programme extended for an additional three years made me proud.

My hobbies:  My hobbies include reading, music and spending time with my family.

Katie Baker
Journey Guide -Grapevine

About me: I’m Katie and I have worked on the Accelerate project full time since January 2021 covering the North Warwickshire area. I was previously a maths teacher teaching students from 6 to 60 during my career but don’t hold that against me!

My proudest moment:  My proudest moments on Accelerate have been when I have been alongside people as they have done things they weren’t able to before, whether this is securing a job, beginning some training or just getting onto a bus for the first time. Everyone has different things that they need to work on and I love seeing them achieve their goals.

My hobbies include:  I enjoy reading, writing and yoga and spend some time doing these things most days. I also love walking in the countryside of North Warwickshire and further afield and kayaking on the local canals when I can persuade my family to come with me. I also enjoy cooking – there is always some homemade cake in my cupboard.

Suzie Crowter
Journey Guide -Grapevine

About me:  I’m Suzie and I’ve worked on the Accelerate project since January 2021. I have many years of experience working with autistic people and people with a learning disability, and love using this to connect people to meaningful employment opportunities.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:   It is hard to choose, but one of my proudest moments on Accelerate has been supporting one of my participants into volunteering as a cleaner at a community centre, through this he has grown in confidence, added to his CV, and built a support network. He even received an award for his dedication to his voluntary work.

My hobbies:  I love reading and run a book club in Coventry. I’m also a wild swimmer, so I hop in rivers, lakes, and the sea at any time of year. I speak German and Italian and love travelling to practice my languages.

Emma Remillieux
Journey Guide –WATCH

About me:  “Hey, I am Emma and I am a Journey Guide at WATCH working for the Accelerate project!  I am assisting participants throughout their journey to employment, whether they need support with job search, CVs, interview skills, training, paperwork and more. I also run the Conversational ESOL sessions at WATCH every Thursdays to develop your everyday English skills and to help you meet and socialise with other people.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  While working on the Accelerate project, I have seen so many of my participants glow and blossom in their personal and professional journey and I feel so proud to be part of their growth.

My hobbies:  I speak French and Spanish and I love cooking, traveling and helping people out.”

Sharda Tailor
Journey Guide- WATCH

About me:  Hi my name is Sharda, I am a Journey Guide at WATCH, I will be your first point of contact to support you with your Journey.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  As a Journey Guide it is when a client is successful in starting work with an employer they are so determined to work for.

My hobbies:  I love gardening and seeing it flourish.

Lucia Vinolo
Journey Guide- Foleshill Womens Training

About me:  My name is Lucia and I am the Journey Guide for Foleshill Women’s Training. We can support with training opportunities and employability skills. We are very active at FWT, although it is only me working in the Accelerate project, across the organisation we offer Coffee Mornings, Confidence Building sessions and training sessions like Maths and English. Also, I am native Spanish so if you speak the language, please talk to me and I will try to help you.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:  Currently, everyone is working from home although if you look at what Accelerate is offering most of activities, sessions and support have not stopped. All the partners and organisations are working very hard to keep offering a great service to our customers and we are connected and more present than I have ever seen in the project. This makes me very proud to be part of this project who goes above and beyond to support its participants.

My hobbies:  I like cooking, doing exercise and searching for new courses to keep myself busy. In the last months I have been sewing face masks for family and friends. Recently, I enrolled to learn French, so I will be starting that very soon.

Tia Bhayat
Journey Guide- Voluntary Action Coventry

About me:  My name is Tia and I am a Journey Guide at Voluntary Action Coventry, I have previously worked for a charitable organisation and a college in various different roles. I have over 10 years’ experience teaching, assessing and mentoring disengaged learners aged 14 to 19 years old in employability, retail, functional skills and art & fashion.

My proudest moment with Accelerate:   Since working as a Journey Guide I have enjoyed meeting participants and helping them in a holistic way to gain employment. My proudest moment is actually many moments, seeing my participants grow in confidence and develop independently. It is very fulfilling, seeing them succeed brings me great satisfaction.

My hobbies:  I like to spend time with my family and I give some of my time to volunteer for the Scouts. I also spend time with Hillfields Nursery School as a Governor.