Kirsty Gibson – Civil Service Hybrid Learning 2021

Kirsty started our Civil Service course back in 2021 after finding herself unemployed, she credits the course for giving her back her confidence which got her back into the job market. Being in post for a number of months now she loves her new role and is looking forward to what opportunites present themselves in the future! Read our catch up with to hear all about her story, fantastic work Kirsty!

What were you doing before you started the programme?
“Previously I’d worked at a hair salon for several years, and as a retail assistant for the Card Factory. Following this, I’d been unemployed for about 2 years. I just couldn’t get a job during the pandemic which was very frustrating.”

How did you find out about the training?
“My Work Coach, Lauren told me about the course and encouraged me to do it. I enjoy helping people and had aspirations to be a Work Coach myself – to help others in the same way that Lauren was helping me. I spoke to a member of staff from Release Potential who explained the course in more detail and what was expected of me.”

Why did you decide to join?
“I decided to enrol on the Civil Service course as I thought it would give me the best chance to move closer to becoming a Work Coach and take the opportunity as I might not get another! I also liked that the course was delivered remotely. Although this was new to me, I wanted to be educated at home where I felt safe at the time.”

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
“It was one of the best courses I’ve ever done! I had help from the staff team at Release Potential which gave me the confidence to go out and get a job and make something more of myself. It also helped me mentally as I was lacking in confidence, and the course helped me to build this up again. I did get a job after the course, and I’m really grateful for it.”

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“I was nervous at first and can suffer from anxiety. I overthink things too much!”

What are you doing now?
“I’m employed in a Kickstart role at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton working as a Housekeeper on the Gynaecology Ward. Although it’s different to what I’d originally planned, I got this opportunity and I’m really enjoying my job.”

What impact has the training had on your life?
“It’s helped me get out there and get a job, build my confidence up and get me used to working in a team again. I’m also better at communicating. It’s changed me as a person and made me want to do more with myself.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I’ve only been in post for a couple of months, so I’m looking forward to the rest of my experience working in the hospital. In the time I’ve been here, I’ve found out about other varied roles in the hospital, and I’m hoping there will be something that suits my skills when my Kickstart has finished.
I’m still interested in becoming a Work Coach at some stage in the future, but for now, I have the job I needed.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“They should take the opportunity, 100%!
For me, I felt down about myself, but the team on the course helped, guided and supported me. It’s the best opportunity I’ve ever had.”

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