Hard work and dedication lands Volunteer a permanent job role

Hazifa Ali ward hostess

A hard working teen has secured a paid job after taking part in work based programme Project Choice and volunteering at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Hazifa Ali has recently found employment within the ward hostess team after completing a one-year placement scheme with Project Choice and nine months volunteering at the Trust.

After beginning her journey to employment having left Stockton Riverside College at a bit of a loose end, Hazifa was initially planning to do an apprenticeship through Marks and Spencers. When this fell through she managed to get into the Project Choice Programme – a supported internship programme for students with learning disabilities, difficulties or autism (LLA) who prepare students for the world of work and match their skills to placement roles.

She started her placement at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trusts Lancaster House site in Stockton, before moving to within North Tees and Hartlepool Trust’s human resources and catering departments for the second and third placements in her Project Choice internship.

“Hazifa is such a lovely, bubbly and chatty girl. Volunteering on the wards as a hostess was a natural fit for her.”

– Paul Wharton, Volunteer Co-ordinator

On Mondays and Thursdays, she carried out HR duties – filing, photocopying, and looking after staff documentation. Thursdays and Fridays were then dedicated to shadowing as a ward hostess; distributing menus to the patients, completing tea rounds and supervised serving of food.

Hazifa found ward hostess work to be the best fit, she explains “I found I enjoyed being able to be out and about on the wards and being around all the different staff and patients. Each day was a little different and I liked being more hands on.”

As her placements drew to a close Hazifa was given the opportunity to progress to  a ward hostess role within the Trust; with the proviso that  she gainedmore experience first. It was at this point that she joined the volunteering team.

Volunteer Co-ordinator Paul Wharton said “Hazifa is such a lovely, bubbly and chatty girl. Volunteering on the wards as a hostess was a natural fit for her. Her confidence during her time with us has grown, and we’re really pleased she has managed to land a permanent job for herself as a Ward Hostess.”

Hazifa spent nine months volunteering at the Trust after her Project Choice placement  ended – using the time to help with more ward hostess duties and building on her experience until she joined the team permanently. She started her new, 20-hour contract in August of 2019.

Hazifa said of her role within the Trust “I really like my job a lot. I get to meet different patients every day and it’s nice to be able to chat with them and offer comfort.

It’s really more than I was expecting as once I had left College as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my time. As much as I love TV Soaps, there’s only so much television you can watch! My time volunteering and completing Project Choice has given me so much confidence and independence and I’m so pleased to now have a job.”

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