Delin: growing in confidence
The Step Forward programme provides support and training for marginalised individuals to develop professionally. I applied to the programme because I felt like developing my leadership skills would enable me to apply for work at a more senior level.
The residential at the beginning of the programme was certainly a game changer for me, primarily for the presence of some powerful Black female speakers. Outside of a professor of social work I previously had, I hadn’t experienced that before, and if you don’t see yourself represented in senior roles, you can’t envisage yourself being there.
That’s why representation matters. I know that’s a cliche almost, but it is so true. If you can see yourself in a particular place, you know you can aspire to get there. You can imagine that as a reality for yourself and believe that can be you. So that was very, very valuable for me.
I already feel like I’ve reaped so many benefits from the programme. It’s given me space to recognise that I am capable of doing things and helped to silence that little annoying voice inside that says “actually you can’t” and “no, that’s too big for you”.
I’ve felt able to put myself forward for a particular piece of work that I previously would have thought that there’s no way that’s within my grasp. I would have told myself I’m not experienced enough or knowledgeable enough to be able to apply for it. But I have applied for it and was successful, so I am now working on a project with 12 local authorities.
The programme has encouraged me to do exactly what it says on the tin and step forward. To have more confidence in myself, my abilities and skills. And I would encourage anyone who is looking to do the same, to do it with the Step Forward programme.