22-year-old Lizzie from Shaw was working in a hospital as a cleaner in 2021, but like many others, she found herself out of work following the impact of Covid-19.
In August that year, whilst looking for her next career path she enrolled in the Kickstart scheme and learned of an opening at Groundwork as a Learning Mentor with the Prince’s Trust Team programme.
Life as a Kickstart Learning Mentor
In her new role, Lizzie supported the young people on the Prince’s Trust Team programme with their week 1 inductions. She introduced them all to BKSB (a Maths and English assessment) and the Independent Learning Record (ILR) which would be used to monitor their current skill levels.
Through her 1-2-1 mentoring Lizzie identified that one young person on the programme needed additional support with some of the reading and writing tasks, she notified senior staff about this and assured the support was arranged.
Lizzie came up with innovative ideas within her role and was given the freedom to act on these. For example she came up with the idea of adding a notebook to the ILR so that the young people could write freely, without the boxes causing distress.
In week 2 of the Prince’s Trust Team programme, the learners attend a range of outdoor events. Lizzie pushed herself to be involved in the activities to show the young people that they need to try new things and that it was okay to be scared. This helped her to build her confidence in her role, whilst helping the young people to improve their own confidence.
During this week Lizzie was also given responsibility with the petty cash, taking the learners to buy healthy dinners whilst out and about.
Lizzie also helped the team staff to identify appropriate work placement locations, she supported with pre-placement interviews, completed relevant paperwork and visited the learners during their placement week.
When asked about her experience in the role overall, Lizzie commented,
“I have allowed myself to open up as a person and be more approachable. I have improved my patience and I now deal with situations differently, depending on the person and the importance of what is happening”.
In addition to on-the-job learning, Lizzie completed several qualifications during her 6-month work placement, including Carbon Literacy and online Flick Learning courses.
Her Future Plans
Groundwork Prince’s Trust Team Leader, Jo Shaw helped Lizzie secure an interview for a role which interested her, which supported young people with special needs.
Lizzie’s application and interview went well and she started her new role in February 2022.