One such organisation is JET, a Newcastle-based charity established ‘to help those who are either from the settled ethnic backgrounds in the City, or newly arrived in the UK, to overcome some of the challenges they faced in searching for work, suitable training and work experience, as well as integrating into society and indeed their local communities’ https://www.jetnorth.org.uk/.
So far JET has used SIGNAL with 113 families representing 276 people from the refugee and migrant communities in the North East of England. SIGNAL has helped to open up many conversations with the picture-based survey greatly helping to overcome the language barrier.
Mojtaba Raeisi, an Advisor and Job Coach at JET has been instrumental in embedding SIGNAL into the day-to-day work of the organisation. It is fair to say that in the year or so that we have been working with Mojtaba he has become a great SIGNAL enthusiast. He has spoken about how it has facilitated an ‘open-mindedness’ in both the participant and the facilitator which is vital to enable an individual or a household to start to take control of their situation and think positively about their future, especially at a point where their circumstances are difficult and potentially in crisis. He has described how the SIGNAL methodology develops honesty and trust and how it creates the opportunity to understand the full picture and to reflect on it in order to find the best solutions to issues.
Mojtaba is a natural problem-solver. He has a great rapport with his clients and an infectious energy; major ingredients to inspire a positive attitude. However, he is clear that SIGNAL has enabled him to go much further because it has liberated both him and his clients to work together to find solutions that are ‘owned’ by the individuals and households who come to JET for help. It stops relationships being merely transactional but rather allows them to be transformational
Mojtaba highlighted one such family which demonstrates how he used SIGNAL to understand the family’s priorities and to find practical solutions to address them:
‘When an Asylum-seeking family from El Salvador came to JET I didn’t know how much they needed help and support. I introduced them to SIGNAL using GOOGLE translate, due to their low level of English. This way I found out that they had a problem with the Home Office, with their child’s primary school and finally and maybe more importantly with food. So, I gave them food vouchers for the West End Foodbank, got them in touch with the Law Centre for their Home Office problem and went with them to their child’s school, with the support of our Spanish speaking volunteer Marta Felices, who helped them as well. They were also referred to Action Language in order to improve their English. Maybe not all this family’s problems were solved but using SIGNAL helped them get a step further with finding their way in the UK and that could not make us any happier!’
Well done Mojtaba and thank you and your clients for allowing us to share this great example.