Transforming lives: Elham's path to success with Stockport Homes Group

Working with partners across the Borough is key to fulfilling our mission of transforming lives. At Stockport Homes Group, we collaborate with both internal teams and other employers to offer services and opportunities tailored to meet our customers’ unique needs. Our charitable arm, SKylight undertakes employment partnerships with companies such as M&S, Vodafone and PureGym, allowing us to offer a wraparound approach, ensuring our customers receive the support they need. 

In 2022/23, SKylight’s Employment Team received 996 referrals, with 280 customers moving into employment and 166 sustaining employment over a six-month period. We recently caught up with one of those referrals, Elham, a Stockport Homes customer who received funding to train as a personal trainer. 

Meet Elham

Five years ago, Elham moved to the UK from Iran, where she studied economics. ‘When I came to the UK, I joined PureGym as a customer and attended all the classes and wanted to choose a job that made me happy and was good for wellbeing,’ Elham explained.  

As a Stockport Homes customer, Elham was able to tap into a number of services on offer, including being matched with Maria, her employment officer. Maria helped Elham to find volunteer opportunities and paid work in local cafes. Whilst Elham loved the bustle of the café and meeting customers, she was unable to shake her passion for personal training and was inspired to enrol in PureGym’s Personal Training Academy 

Securing funding and transforming lives

Maria and Elham

Elham’s dream was to find a career, a forever job that would allow her to support her children and to be mentally and emotionally fulfilled. PureGym offered a 14-week Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training but the £2,000 cost of the course was prohibitive and Elham’s proficiency in English made studying in her second language difficult.  

Maria secured match funding from Catch 22 for the training. Catch 22 also worked with Elham, supporting her with her language skills on her assessments. After nearly two years of dedication and perseverance, Elham successfully completed her training and now works shifts at PureGym, delivering classes like Legs, Bums and Tums and Burn It. In addition to her scheduled classes, Elham leverages the gym facilities to train personal clients. 

‘I love it here,’ Elham said. Elham’s inspiring journey showcases that with determination and through the support of likeminded partnerships, one can indeed achieve their goals. In Elham’s words, ‘I think if we want it, we can get it.’  

From left, Jenna, Elham and Carys from PureGym 

At Stockport Homes Group, we are always looking for more partnership opportunities. If you’re interested in working together, contact our business development team on [email protected]