case study

Helping GRoW
protect and inspire vulnerable learners

Key Market

Key Market

Liz Sewell started GRoW as a back-to-work program for women in London. Now with their own app to host events, workshops and a library of resources, they can help far more people with much less effort.

Liz Sewell started GRoW as a back-to-work program for women in London. Now with their own app to host events, workshops and a library of resources, they can help far more people with much less effort.

THE CHALLENGE

Locked down by Covid-19, Liz Sewell’s back-to-work program could no longer make visits in person. They needed an online home for their community with full control over who had access.

THE SOLUTION

To safeguard the privacy of vulnerable people in the group, GRoW created their own purpose-built app. Unlike a Facebook group, their app is invitation-only, independently managed, and entirely owned by Liz’s company. Livestreams and a calendar of events keep people visible and connected, push notifications reach members wherever they are, and learning resources are stored, organised and available 24/7. The ideal environment to help people grow.

GROWTH

90%

member retention

100%

increase in monthly active users

IMPACT

More efficient and cost-effective service,
increased engagement, loyalty and awareness,
many users returning daily instead of monthly

“It’s upped my staff’s game. It’s helped people understand what we do better. For our candidates it’s better. And it makes me feel like we are a 2022 organisation!”

Liz Sewell

Throughout her 20 years in the employability game, Liz Sewell has always been considered innovative. Through her company, Belina Consulting, Liz runs programs such as GRoW (Get Ready for Work) to help parents learn confidence, motivation and employability skills. And with her latest brainwave, she’s found a way to turn a sometimes-stressful learning experience into a sense of belonging, direction and purpose.

It began during lockdown, when Liz’s team were unable to physically meet the people they serve. Before, community centre and library visits were standard procedure, but times had changed. Meeting on Zoom was a start but, with everyone becoming so tech-savvy, why not take it a step further? Why not give people even more opportunities to spend time with the service and get help in a more cost-effective way? If Tesco can have an app, why not GRoW?

Working with Disciple

Liz first Googled ‘how to build an app’ but soon realised she really didn’t want to have to build an app. So she turned to Disciple and we built it together. What GRoW needed was somewhere to store and organise learning content, post jobs bulletins, host live events and workshops. But also somewhere to meet for a virtual coffee or a livestream picnic with people on a similar journey. All while safe and secure, away from prying eyes.

The result, according to Liz, “really shows that we are at the top of our game and know what we’re doing. The ease of use, the intuition, makes it as easy as anything I’ve ever done on Apple. The app makes us look good. It makes us look how we want to look, which is bigger than our funding profile!”

As a funded program, GRoW doesn’t charge members through the app. They pay with their time and attention, and they’re generous about it too – Liz has seen people go from using the service once a month to once a day. However, there are opportunities to charge when it comes to other organisations that want to share their content on the app. And since the app won the GRoW program an Innovation Award in 2021, prospects are lining up to get involved.

Playful and focused at the same time

Liz says one of the best things about the GRoW app is how it makes going back to work a positive experience, which is exactly what the program was set up to do. Instead of feeling pressured or pushed into employment, it is an active choice and a shared journey. And instead of feeling overwhelmed by a social media platform or emails, it’s all done in an app that makes sense as soon as you open it.

The experience is so meaningful that 90% of members keep the app after it has served its purpose and helped them back to work. Some share job opportunities they’ve come across or stories from their new roles. Others stay for the recipes, motivational quotes and chat with friends they’ve made along the way.