Barclays helps people with HIV to get back into the workplace

Barclays workers based in Canary Wharf lent their interview expertise to people with HIV last Thursday to help them get back into the workplace.

Colleagues from the bank’s Chief Financial Office in Churchill Place ran a series of workshops with members of the Positive East charity which is based in Mile End.

Now in its fourth year, the programme was originally set up by Kate Coulson, the company’s head of credit risk review and the two bodies have a long-lasting relationship through Barclays patron and former CEO John Varley.

And as cuts to HIV prevention work are announced in London, the charity’s director, Mark Santos, pointed to another initiative, working with Barclays’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network called Spectrum, as “invaluable”.

A spokeswoman for Positive East said the interview programme has “achieved significant impact, ensuring people living with HIV gain employment and sustained independence.”

Members of the charity, which supports people with HIV and AIDS in east London and their families, went through a six-week course beforehand including test interviews before going for the mock interviews in Canary Wharf.

“The mock interviews are a rewarding opportunity to meet fantastic people with incredible potential, as well as to develop personal competencies, such as interview skills,” said Steve Marr, Barclays’ senior credit risk review manager.

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