A Prince’s Trust initiative called ‘Get into Health & Social Care’ has proved a hit with young people across Northern Ireland this month.
The programme is aimed at young people aged 16 to 25 who are unemployed but want to work in the care sector.
On 6 March, the charity hosted a group of 12 young people at the Southern Regional College’s Newry campus. They were joined by Anita Scullion and Jackie McCaughey, both Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) Ambassadors and a Service Manager with Leonard Cheshire Disability.
The following week, young people at Belfast Metropolitan College’s learned about careers in Early Years.
Those who attended each event said they learned a lot about the various career options within social care and were inspired by the Ambassadors’ career progression and felt they could identify with them.
One of the former participants in the progamme is 21-year old George Bell from Carrickfergus.
George left home at the age of 17 and struggled to find work. Unemployed for three years, he found it hard to budget and to maintain social relationships which resulted in him becoming withdrawn, leading in turn to a period of depression.
In 2014, George joined the ‘Get into Health & Social Care’ programme through his local Jobs and Benefits Office. During the programme, George gained qualifications relevant to the Health & Social Care sector and completed a two-week work placement with Four Seasons Health Care, in Abbeylands Care Home.
On completion of this work placement, George was interviewed for a full-time position as a care assistant with Abbeylands Care Home in Newtownabbey and he is still working there.
“I am enjoying every minute,” George said.
“I wake up and look forward to going to work and enjoy the feeling of self-worth after a hard day’s work. The Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get into Health & Social Care’ programme has not only changed my life, it has given me one. I now have a full-time job, I am earning a wage and I am a functioning member of society.”
Find out more about the programme here: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/