Empowerment is a Blackpool based charity committed to providing brilliant employment opportunities for local residents. One of our achievements we are most proud of are the Apprenticeship opportunities we provide for Blackpool people! Thanks to ‘HeadStart Blackpool’, we have this year been able to provide two fantastic apprenticeship opportunities for Ellie and Kayleigh. Here we present in their own words how they have found the experience…
Kayleigh in her own words….
I am Kayleigh and I work at Empowerment as a Youth Engagement Apprentice within the Children and Young People’s Advocacy Service. I have worked at Empowerment for 6 months, which if you know me is a big achievement; I am a ‘quitter’ which means I set out to do something and I end up giving up on doing what I set out to do, I did this with a previous apprenticeship when I was in college, I started at a nursery and lasted a week before giving up. I have been to college and started at university in 2016, I loved it … until I quit again in February 2019 after starting at University doing photography to then drop out due to it not being challenging enough for me. I then started again at University this time doing Health and Social Care only to then drop out again due to personal reasons.
Finding work that involved supporting and helping children at the age of 21, with no degree and no background in this type of work was difficult and being on the edge of the age range of apprentices (16-21) was also difficult. This was until I found Empowerment!
At Empowerment I have found a sense of belonging, I have always struggled in the work place and feeling like I don’t fit in. At Empowerment I don’t have to fit in because I am who I am and everyone is who they are, we are people with all ranges of personalities and we are all equal and all brilliant at what we do. I have always wanted to work with children and young people, but to work with Children and Young People’s Advocacy is something I wouldn’t have thought I would be doing. Coming into this apprenticeship not knowing what advocacy was to 6-months into the apprenticeship, I now know that what we are doing is helping and supporting children to get their voices heard and also seeing the impact it has on those children’s lives is the most rewarding and amazing feeling!
I feel that at Empowerment I am not seen as an apprentice but as any other member of staff, I feel valued for the work I do to support the children and young people’s advocates. I work and learn along the way, I have never been good in classroom settings and at Empowerment I get to work alongside my college work, I have the freedom to be able to do my job and also do my studies when needed. It is a great experience to work with such a range of amazing people and have the support from everyone. The children and young people’s advocacy team have helped me grow not just in my job but as a person as well and Empowerment as a whole is an amazing place to work and I am very grateful for the amazing opportunities it has given me and also grateful to Empowerment’s staff as without them I don’t think I would have come as far as I have.
Ellie in her own words…
Being an apprentice at Empowerment has been like nothing I have ever experienced. I have been welcomed into the Empowerment team with open arms and I couldn’t think of anything better. The Empowerment team, The DEN especially have taught me many skills both in the workplace and in life. I am a more versatile and mature young person thanks to them and the experience they offered me.
At my time with Empowerment I have been to many different training events, networking events and many more. I have also had the opportunity to shadow some amazing people doing amazing work. Empowerment gave me the opportunity to become a national stalking ambassador for ‘Paladin’ and gain skills around stalking and harassment. I am grateful that I was chosen for this role and have been able to work towards many new and exciting things.
This opportunity has given me the chance to explore the career path I would like to go down whilst also being able to learn how to simply be myself and have fun.
We are so proud of Kayleigh and Ellie, watching them grow and develop as people is just wonderful, it is a privilege for Empowerment to have them with us!