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.