What is Fusion?

Fusion is a project whose focus is to help you acquire the necessary skills for employment in the modern economy. By focussing on communication skills with management, co-workers, and clients/customers, it will help you improve all social interactions.

How to apply.

The deadline for applications is 1pm Friday 24th July 2020.
To apply, please email anna@graft.org.uk (or send a recording) telling us:

  1. A little about yourself
  2. Why you would like to join the Fusion project
  3. What you can offer Fusion

Please watch the video above to understand why these questions are important to us.

The other dates to be aware of are:

  • Tuesday 28th July (around 5pm) when we will let you know on whether you have made it through to the interviews
  • Thursday 30th July 2020 when the interviews will take place – please note that if you are likely to have appointments between 10am and 3pm that day, it would be useful to have that information in advance since timing is so tight.
  • Friday 31st July 2020 (around 5pm) when we will tell you the outcome of your application.
  • The week starting the 3rd August we will need to gather information to formally enrol you on the programme (including information like your shirt size for the uniform etc)
  • The week starting the 10th August for a few one to one online conversations and possible skill tests so that we can start to develop individual Personal Development Plans.
  • Monday 17th August 2020 when the induction day will take place and will mark the beginning of the programme.

Please tell us if you have other commitments on the 30th July in your application and whether you have already made plans for the summer holidays.

Unfortunately, there will be many more applications than there are places available.

If you are not successful in gaining a place on Fusion you will be signposted to other programmes and you will be able to re-apply for the second cohort of students who will start in February 2021.

What you will be working on.

During the project, you will complete typical VA tasks for charities/businesses (please email anna@graft.org.uk for more information, or book an online or telephone appointment here).

Hard skills developed will include:

  • Telephone etiquette
  • Telesales
  • Website design
  • Creative writing
  • Minuting meetings
  • Data entry
  • Report writing

and also Soft Skills such as:

  • Social etiquette at work
  • Dealing with challenging situations
  • Asking for help or support
  • What is a Supervision meeting and how can it help you
  • How to challenge your manager
  • Conflict resolution

There will also be a strong emphasis on “survival” skills such as self-awareness and personal development to represent yourself and the organisation/project professionally.

I don’t want office work – how will Fusion help me?

Whether you hope to work as a cleaner or as an electrician, you will need to be a confident communicator in any number of situations – this is equally true if you intend to be self-employed or not.

This programme will teach you how to deal with any number of difficult situations as well as give you the skills you need to complete your project paperwork and not be frightened by it. The only requirement of the project, is for you to try all tasks at least two (three at most) times to see whether you might actually have a hidden talent for any one of them that you never thought you had because of a specific narrative you have been replaying in your own mind. By this, we mean statements such as “I am only good at manual work” “I am not good with computers” etc.

Where is Fusion based?

Fusion is a combination of remote and office learning/working – this is how we can comply with current guidelines around keeping safe in this pandemic.  Office-based work will be carried out at the Graft premises at 84 Queens Road, Reading, RG1 4BW and will be on the second floor of the building.

We are unfortunately unable, at this stage, to easily support individuals with difficulty walking up two flights of stairs.

How long will Fusion run for?

Fusion will run for one year from August 2020 – August 2021

What are the project outcomes?

The outcomes of the pilot are to improve the employability of service users and, at the end of the project, to move them on to mainstream employment or self-employment.  Those that may not be ready for this at the end of the project will have the project resources to help them and, in some instances, it may be possible to re-enter the Graft programme for further support.

Service users, local charities/businesses and the wider community will all benefit from this project via improved communications and pathways to employment, experiencing a neuro-diverse workforce and improved social cohesion.

Is Fusion a separate entity to Graft?

No, Fusion is a Graft project and as such will need to be managed, monitored and evaluated as part of the Graft programme of resources.

How will Fusion support service users coming through the programme?

Fusion will offer at least 10 service users the chance to learn more specific work-based communication and administrative skills while gaining some real work experience that will greatly benefit your CV.

This will provide you with a steppingstone from unemployment to mainstream/independent employment.  Fusion will supplement this with Graft’s service user’s support from our other mainstream resources to help you into mainstream employment or self-employment.

I am a local Charity/Small Businesses. How can Fusion help us?

Fusion will provide a Virtual Assistant resource for local small businesses and charities.  This will include tasks such as:

  • Social Media Posts (prepared for the client to upload)
    • Videos
    • Infographics
    • Advertisements
  • Copywriting
  • Desktop Research
  • Surveys (both telephone and online)
  • Mailouts (both physical and digital)
  • Typing (only non-confidential information)
  • Document Formatting

Work will be carried out by service users and quality assured by Fusion and Graft management.  As service users will be in the ‘learning’ stage of their development, Fusion will not charge for this work – although Fusion will request a donation towards costs and will ask all “requestants” to complete a quick and simple online feedback for each request made (or task requested if more that one if included in the enquiry) and delivered.

To find out more, please email anna@graft.org.uk.

Who will run Fusion?

As Graft is legally responsible for this project, its overall strategic planning and its legal and regulatory compliance will be the responsibility of the Graft Projects Director.  However, the specific programme content and 3rd party liaison will be managed by our delivery partner – Pageeze.  Project delivery and the progression of service users will be handled jointly between Graft and Pageeze.

How is Fusion funded?

Fusion is mainly funded by The People’s Postcode Trust, with top-up funding from The Edward Gostling Foundation and Berkshire Community Foundation.  Graft is legally responsible for this funding which will be managed by the Graft Finance Officer and overseen by the Graft Projects Director.