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UP Project case study: TI

23 Jun 2020


TI joined the UP Project in January 2020. He had very little work experience and discussed his barriers when seeking employment to be a lack of work experience, his previous convictions and a lack of knowledge regarding disclosures. TI began working on his employability and in doing so discussed his desire to own his own barbering business. With support from the UP Project, TI was looking into college courses, but Covid-19 meant he could not pursue this route. TI had been a strong participant on the project prior to this, participating in our meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.

TI worked extremely hard to increase his employability skills which gave him the confidence to seek employment. During the lockdown, the UP-Project supported TI to enter a competition with Cocoa Amore in partnership with Leicestershire Cares to get support to set up his own business. The competition was called ‘the big idea’ and TI had to create a business proposal along with a video detailing his plans. TI was one of two winners of the competition, securing £100 to start up his business and an hour’s mentoring with Peter Gardener, owner of Cocoa Amore, to support TI to make his business idea a reality.

I feel overwhelmed at the fact I was successful with the big idea competition. I was starting to think I was unsuccessful, but thanks to the help of Siobhan being there for me and reassuring me that I had done well gave me the confidence to believe I have got this. I have not been to lucky in life in the past, being 23 and having done a jail sentence, so being given such a great opportunity by Cocoa Amore encouraged me to push my barbering career. I would like to thank Peter Gardner for his contribution and continuous support he has kindly offered to make this a success.

Competition feedback from TI

The UP Project continue to support TI and are confident he will be very successful with his mobile barbering business. We at the UP Project are extremely proud of his determination, dedication, and commitment to achieve. TI has not allowed his past to determine his future which is something we are passionate about supporting.

I am looking forward to what my future has to offer now, and I must say without the support of Siobhan this would not have been possible. When I was released from prison I thought I was coming out to nothing, no opportunities but Siobhan has opened doors for me I never thought were possible. I just want to say a massive thank you to Siobhan, Rudi and the rest of the team at Leicestershire Cares for believing in me, you all do such an amazing job at giving HOPE to all of us who have messed up and WANT to change for the better.

UP Project feedback

To find out more about the UP Project and how to get involved, please contact Siobhan Hirrell, UP Project Development Officer: