Welcome to our March newsletter.
It seems only fitting that in the month we celebrated International Women's Day (IWD), we are able to share a few words from Iris Apablaza, Nova's previous director of 20 years, following her recent visit to the UK from her native Chile.
Iris arrived in the UK as a refugee and joined Nova in 1988 to teach ICT, progressing soon after to a senior role. For those who know her, Iris is a true inspiration with an ability to listen deeply, see the positive in everything, and empower all those around her; invaluable attributes during Nova’s rollercoaster early years. At one low point, Iris was left with no staff, but she didn’t give up. Her determination and ability to deliver were critical to Nova's funders: “They still supported us because they wanted the organisation to be long-running... they said, ‘When you give her the money, she does 120%.’ Somehow, Nova started to grow.”
And grow Nova did, now supporting over 2000 people a year from all backgrounds to realise their potential, under the current leadership of Lizzie Cho, who took over the reins in 2013.
Iris received an MBE in 2010 for services to the community. So, it was unsurprising when asked to choose her proudest achievement, she replied: “The number of people we have helped in the community. Nova was quite well-known in the community and the way we are. When the community trusts you, that is the most important.”
A few years ago, Iris moved back to Chile. Was it for the quiet life? Let's just say that the last we heard, she's collaborating with her local community and leading on securing a source of water for the village... 
Nova New Opportunities – words clearly lived by.
Iris (left), Lizzie (centre) and 
Vania, Iris's daughter (right) 
What's coming up…
Information, Advice and Guidance
Need a hand?
Nova's IAG team has launched a series of monthly outreach sessions to help you move forward and upwards. To start off: a workshop to help you set and meet personal budgeting goals, as well as access support from local organisations. Why not drop by and speak to one of our friendly expert advisors?
11:30am - 1pm
28th March
Baseline Studios, W11
For details call: 020 8960 2488
Join the team!
New Joiner Spotlight
Tania Nunes
Trainee Finance Assistant
“I joined to NOVA in 2021 to study English, then they offered me a job as a cleaner on the same days of my classes coz I was living pretty far and cost of transport very high. After almost 2 years, a person arrived who has undoubtedly been a great support for me in this country. She offered and guided me to apply for a vacancy in the finance area and continue studying to improve my English. Nowadays, I’ve been having a very challenging tasks in Finance and I feel so glad of being learning everyday.”
We hope you enjoyed our newsletter.
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