Project supporting young people into work is proving successful – helping young woman get vital experience

A health trust’s work on a project to support young people into work is proving successful for a young woman who has gained vital experience in the NHS.

Kickstart programmeAmelia Gibbon has been working at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as part of the government’s Kickstart programme.

The placement in the cardiac investigations unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool has involved helping administrative work in the department.

Amelia, who is 19-years-old, has had support to build her confidence and skills in the workplace – both from the Trust’s education team and from the cardiac investigations team.

She has also received support from DurhamEnable, a supported employment Durham County Council service, who have helped her on the placement and with her access to work.

They have helped arrange further support from Bridge Creative – who have set up intensive support from an in-work support worker called Anna.

Though her placement recently ended – Amelia is currently applying for positions in other departments across the organisation.

Amelia, from Fishburn in County Durham, said: “It’s been a real challenge – but thanks to the huge support I have had from everyone in the team, I have developed and learned.

“I have been using the service’s computer system, taking phone calls and helping with administrative tasks.

“It’s been my first experience of working – I was nervous but it’s thanks to the support I have had it has been fantastic.”

Louise Tindall, the cardiac investigations unit manager, said: “Amelia has a beautiful personality and has flourished in the unit. She is a pleasure to have around.

“The team will definitely miss having her in cardiac investigations.

“We really hope she can find the right role now she has had opportunity to develop her skills and as a person.

Kickstart was an initiative to support young people aged 16 to 24 into work.

Though this has now ended, throughout the duration of the scheme the Trust has employed a number of young people, supporting the Widening Participation agenda.

The idea behind the scheme was to give young people the opportunity to experience a work placement to help them become more employable.

This involves giving young people an opportunity to develop their confidence and skills in the workplace, working 25 hours per week for a six month period.

Emma Davies, the Trust’s workforce development lead, said: “Four young people were employed through the scheme in 2021 to provide administrative support in the Trust’s Covid vaccination centre – this was not only a valuable experience for them but they also provided valuable support to the organisation at a time when it was really needed.

“In February 2022, two more young people commenced employment with us, one person within our ESR team who has now secured a longer-term post and Amelia who started a placement within the cardiac investigations unit.

“From the first day I met Amelia, her passion for the NHS and supporting patients was abundantly clear.

“Amelia has a disability but she does not let this hold her back.  She has an infectious personality and is a ray of sunshine.

“As well as showing great compassion and empathy for patients, she has developed her skills within an administrative role and has grown hugely in confidence.

“The team has provided Amelia with the time and space to grow as a person and have supported her to become a valued member of the team.”


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