Introducing Richard Balmforth

Richard Balmforth recently joined the team at The Oasis Centre, and he will be heading up all of our RE-START programmes. We had the opportunity to catch up with Richard and find our what makes him tick.

How did you come to be part of the Oasis team?

I had heard about Oasis and the amazing things that they do for the community in Gorton and East Manchester and thought it'd be an amazing thing to get involved in. When Oasis advertised that they were recruiting for a new centre manager a few people said why don't you throw your name in the ring, what's the worst that could happen? As it later transpired, I didn't get that role but Victoria mentioned the possibility of joining as the RE-START Coordinator and having visited the centre and gone through the application process there was no way I was willing to turn this opportunity down.

What have been your first impressions working at the centre?

It's just how incredibly different it is to the area that it is in. You walk into the centre and there is peace, laughter and kindness and it is so great to be involved in that. This isn't just from the staff and volunteers either, the clients are awesome and so incredibly generous and patient.

Can you share one highlight of your first few weeks?

Someone walked into the centre and were shy and clearly anxious - he had never had a CV before and after sitting down with him for about an hour we printed off his CV, and as he was reading it there was a beaming smile on his face because for the first time he could see all the things he had achieved on one piece of paper.

What are some of the things you are hoping to do through your role here?

I want to see people who have been told that they can't do something throughout their life come to the realisation that they can pursue careers they are passionate about and find jobs that they are excited about. I also want to see organisations partner with us at Oasis so we can collaborate in seeing people move into employment.

How can we pray for you?

Pray that clients would be encouraged to push themselves to go into jobs they're passionate about and pray that organisations would partner with us in either taking on clients as employees or providing work experience or training opportunities.