Charlotte Jones – Wolverhampton Startship

Charlotte joined our Startship programme looking to get a foot in the door with the Kickstart opportunities that were attached to the programme. After hearing about the NHS Kickstart opportunities in our Day in the Life sessions Charlotte knew that it was something for her. Charlotte secured her position in the NHS after applying during the course and hasn’t looked back! Great work Charlotte, read her full story below!

What were you doing before you started the programme?
“I’d studied Art and Design at College for 3 years and was then looking for work. I had a temporary retail assistant role at H Samuels jewellers and a seasonal role at B&M which ended just before the pandemic started. I was out of work at a really difficult time and unemployed before starting the course with Release Potential. I also spent some time volunteering with Macmillan Cancer Support.”

How did you find out about the training?
“My Work Coach, Mike told me about the course. I got some more detailed information from Release Potential sent by email and then had a discussion with a member of staff.”

Why did you decide to join?
“I knew before enrolling that the NHS was supporting the course with Kickstart opportunities available for appropriate candidates and was interested in this. With the certificates I could gain by completing the course, I just thought I should give it a shot, what’s the worst that could happen!”

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
“It gave me some back some confidence, and it was really good to meet different people again after lockdown. During the team activity, I had a photography role which I enjoyed, it linked back to my interest in Art and Design! I hadn’t done any IT since school, so this part of the course was a good refresher and update for me too.”

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“I had been anxious around other people because of the pandemic, but I got into a routine after the first two days, and then it didn’t affect me so much.”

What are you doing now?
“I’ve been successful in gaining a Kickstart role as a Digital Marketing Assistant with The Recovery College, part of the Black Country NHS Foundation Trust. My role involves creating marketing material, and social media activities, assisting with events, updating the website and helping with projects. I’m really excited about it.”

What impact has the training had on your life?
“It’s helped to give me more confidence, build up my skills and bring me out of my shell.
I met Surie from the NHS Trust at the Market Place event Release Potential had organised. Listening to the opportunities available and talking to her led to me making an application. I had an interview for a finance role originally, but it was recognised I had a more creative background when I’d talked about my interest in art therapy. My skill set is better suited to the creative marketing role I’ve accepted.”

What are your plans for the future?
“To complete my Kickstart placement and then see where it goes. It’s a step in the right direction for me and when it ends, I’m hoping something appropriate might come up in the NHS.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“Give it a go, you’ll meet some amazing people who will help and support you to start work.”

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