Learn how Kirsten was supported through an Activity Agreement to gain confidence needed to secure a role as a carer.
No One Left Behind (NOLB) Activity Agreements are an option for school leavers or young people who aren’t feeling confident about taking the next step to college, training or employment. They help to build new skills and increase levels of confidence. When Kirsten was 16, she was at risk of leaving school unable to access education, employment or training. She had poor mental health, low self-esteem and attendance issues at school.
Kirsten was referred for an Activity Agreement by her school to help get her back on track. An Activity Agreement is an individual package of activity and learning that is built around a young person’s needs and interests. This could be a range of activities - music, arts, sport, outdoor activities - and can be flexible to the young person’s suggestions. The aim is that upon completing a programme a young person will be more confident and feel ready to make the next transition into further education, training or employment.
When Kirsten first came along to the Activity Agreement group, she was very shy and quiet. She didn’t really engage with her peers in the group at all, but she did start to engage well with the staff. She was fairly certain she wanted to work as a carer, but she didn’t know how to get a job like that, so her Activity Agreement coach looked around for a volunteering opportunity.
In January 2019, Kirsten started volunteering with Pilton Equalities Project as a Minibus Passenger Escort. It was Kirsten’s responsibility to help the service users on and off the minibus and make sure everyone had their seatbelts securely fastened. Kirsten loved being a volunteer for this project and it was clear to see the passion she had for working with this client group. This, along with other support, helped to build her confidence.
After volunteering for a few months, Kirsten applied to do the Training for Care course “Step Into Social Care”. This was a 13 week course that included specific training and a work placement. Kirsten was offered a place and started the course in June 2019. It was a tough course involving long days and busy weeks, but Kirsten gave it her all and completed it.
Kirsten continued to get support from the Training for Care staff and her Activity Agreement coach after the course. They helped her to complete job applications and supported her to build interview skills when she was invited to this stage of the process. Kirsten was successful in securing the position.
Reflecting on her time on the Activity Agreement, Kirsten said,
"My Activity Agreement Coach, Mary, helped me with everything. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would be doing anything. She got me into the volunteering, and then found me the training course. She was always happy to see me and help me even when I had lots of silly questions and was being nervous about going to new places. I love my job now and I can’t really believe I get to do this every day."
Kirsten started work in October 2019 prior to the Covid-19 breakout and continued to work throughout the pandemic. At times she did struggle with the situation she was in and required some support and advice from her Activity Agreement coach. Kirsten is still currently working at the care home and is a well-loved and valued member of their team.