“It’s been absolutely amazing!”
At Venture Trust we offered Kickstart positions in different areas of the charity, providing opportunities to gain experience and develop working skills. The Kickstart scheme was brought in to help spur on the country’s economic revival, and was launched by the UK Government, with the aim being to create work placements for young people.
One of our most recent Kickstarters was Nicole. Nicole came to Venture Trust with a background in care. Having been out of work for a few years due to the birth of her son, she was keen to try something different and that’s when she saw the Kickstart opportunity with Venture Trust. Enjoying the ability to help others and make a difference in people’s day at her previous job, she was keen to get involved with the Venture Trust team and the work involved.
At first nervous to re-enter the workplace and meet new people, Nicole commented that she was instantly made to feel welcome by not just her team but the whole organisation, saying everyone was “really helpful, and really encouraging”. She felt happy asking questions, and saw her own self-confidence grow during her time at Venture Trust, stating:
“I feel so much more confident in myself. I feel comfortable when I’m speaking – I used to get really embarrassed and go really red and I used to hate speaking to people that I didn’t know, but now I absolutely love it, I feel like I could talk to anyone.”
Getting involved straight away with the Outreach team, Nicole was given a case load of four participants, and managed to get three of them onto wilderness journeys. She was happy to have this opportunity – “I think the fact that they give you your own case load makes you feel that little bit more independent which was really good.” She mentioned that with the shadowing, meeting different participants and her team, it meant that every day was different “which is another bonus. You’re not going to have the same day, and it’s not always in the office, you’re out and about… you learn so much through watching other people”.
Her manager, Janice, commented that after only a few weeks Nicole became confident in her role, saying “Everyone thought Nicole was a full-time worker for Venture Trust, no one ever thought she was a trainee as she was a natural at the job.” Nicole would support the team with delivering pre-journey group work and Phase 3 group work, and she also had the opportunity to attend the final day of a wilderness journey, meeting some of the participants she had referred onto the course. Seeing these participants at the end of their 8 days, she reflected that it was lovely to witness the difference from when they left, to when they completed their journey, and noted that they had all grown in confidence and built new relationships.
Now that her Kickstart position has come to an end, Nicole has secured a job with Quarriers and is looking forward to the next step in her career, ready to “welcome it with open arms”. Thinking about her time with Venture Trust, she mentioned that the experience was “more challenging, but in a good way, it definitely helped me believe in myself… Venture Trust has been a really happy place, even though there was work it was so much fun… It’s probably the best I’ve ever felt in myself from working with a group of people and learning every day… What an experience.” When asked if she would return to Venture Trust in the future, her reply was a very enthusiastic “110%!”, which was echoed by Janice who said, “It would be great to see Nicole back at Venture Trust in the future.”
Thank you to Nicole for all her work and engagement. For future opportunities with Venture Trust, keep an eye on our social pages and our website.