Manor Park tailor gets internship at London College of Fashion
PUBLISHED: 16:31 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:48 06 December 2017
An aspiring artist who almost gave up hope of a job in the creative arts has landed an internship at London College of Fashion.
Sheridan Hayes, 27, from Manor Park, is one of seven people aged 18 to 30 currently on two paid six-month placements at leading London cultural arts organisations.
A New Direction, STEP (Shared Training & Employment Programme) was set up by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in partnership with Bow Arts, Sadler’s Wells and UAL’s London College of Fashion.
Its purpose is to get more Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds into the creative and cultural sectors.
Sheridan, who has undertaken short tailoring courses in the past, described his assistant role in the corporate social responsibility team as “a bit of journey”.
He said: “I almost gave up. I felt I never had the ability or the networks to do what I wanted to do.
“Now I am in a creative space, and seeing the students doing what I want to do, has made me feel like I will go back into studying or carve a path for myself.”
Sheridan, who worked in Sweden for 18 months in a bid to get experience before his placement, is now assisting three project managers with different community projects and working with fashion brands.
One involves teaching prison leavers sewing skills so they can learn to make garments.
“We are upskilling people and building people’s confidence,” said Sheridan. “I never thought I would work with ex-offenders and people who have social issues.”
In his new role, Sheridan has also been assisting with evening workshops, office admin and research.
“I am seeing the making process from a different angle because I am working under the umbrella of social responsibility and I have never thought about my skills in the sense of people it can impact on,” he said.
Sheridan will move on to his second placement in April.
The programme is open to young people in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest