Work Choice: Meet Louise
Louise grew in confidence and gained employment skills while taking part in Work Choice at Radio Enham.
I am Louise; I have lived at Enham Trust since I was 19 when I came here from college. I live in my own supported living bungalow and have done for nearly 10 years. I love having my own space and not having staff around all the time, as I don’t really need them.
At college, a careers adviser suggested I do a business studies course, which I did; she thought it would maximise my opportunities to work later on. But I never wanted to do business studies – it didn’t excite me. I wanted to work with children, and to train in health and social care. So I didn’t enjoy my business studies course,and didn’t do very well at it either; it wasn’t my choice.
When I came to Enham Trust it very much became about my choice. I worked with the Work Choice advisor and they straight away focused on my desire to work with children. Before long, I was gaining work experience in both a playgroup and primary school. I really enjoyed interacting with the children, and it was rewarding helping them learn to read and write.
Leading on from this, I went on to train in what I’d originally wanted to, achieving foundation level qualifications in both health and social care and childcare. However, I found working towards the qualifications very hard, and my tutor explained to me that I’d only just passed, and might struggle with the next stages. I came to the conclusion that continuing my studies in this area probably wasn’t right for me. But I didn’t mind; what mattered was that I’d had theopportunity to try and to find out for myself.
When the Radio Enham opened up this gave me an opportunity to try something a bit different and develop my skills further. I was very nervous about talking live on air and to begin with I just helped with the research side of things. Then one day there was an empty slot in the studio when someone was away and I thought I would give it a go. It was very nerve-racking to begin with but every time I did it my confidence grew a bit more. I now do research for two news shows a week and if a show needs cover I will get on the microphone in the studio too.
Once my confidence had grown in the studio I then also started a placement on the Enham Trust reception. It was a bit scary to begin as I was worried about speaking to people on the phone and putting them through to the right department. I soon got the hang of it though and when a paid job came up on reception I was encouraged that I should apply. I wasn’t sure if I would get it but was thrilled when they told me I had got the job!
Since then my skills have grown enormously, I have really good organisational skills and communications skills that I have gained. I get great satisfaction out of being able to help other people and really love my job. I don’t necessarily want to work as a receptionist for ever but I for now I am very happy.
Getting this job was my choice. I think that is part of the reason I love it so much. I have a real sense of purpose and a proper reason to get up in the morning. I feel like I really have moved on to the next stage and have actually achieved those aspirations. One day I would like to look at perusing my childcare aspirations but for now I am really enjoying life.
If you were inspired by this story, and would like to stay updated with everything that's happening at Enham Trust, then you can sign up to our newsletter by clicking below: