Business leaders in Hull will learn this week how young people are gaining vital experience through volunteering at the city’s hospital trust.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has taken on 260 school-leavers as part of its “Young Volunteers” programme to give them an insight into 322 different careers within the NHS.
Many young people have since gone on to start apprenticeships at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital or have gone into other health-related careers.
The programme, which pays young people travelling expenses as they gain vital work experience, has attracted national attention since it was launched three years ago and has now been introduced by other hospitals around the country.
Rachael Pearce, the trust’s Senior Patient Experience and Engagement Officer who leads the Young Volunteers project, will address company representatives at Fruit on Wednesday as part of Hull Business Week.
She said: “Young people have a vital contribution to make to the NHS and our programme shows them there is a huge variety of career opportunities open to them. They learn working for the trust is not just about training as a doctor or a nurse.
“My view is ‘Believe in young people and the magic will happen’ and that has been proved time and time again since we launched the programme. Young people have responded so well because we have put our faith in them and have opened doors they never thought were open to them before.
“We as employers just need to give them that first chance and support them into productive, valuable and rewarding careers.”
As well as the Young Volunteers programme, 50 people aged 16 to 24 have also been signed up as Young Health Champions at the trust.
This project reaches out to people with depression, anxiety, social issues or conditions such as autism and ADHD.
Providing them with a daily £3 lunch voucher and travel expenses, the young people attend a work placement three days a week in their chosen field in the hospital and go into a classroom setting to improve their skills in English, maths and IT one day a week.
They also spend a further day learning techniques to improve communication skills, team-working or motivation.
Rachael Pearce will outline the success of both schemes when she attends the Right Here, Right Now event hosted by Athena Aspire.
Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/right-here-right-now-tickets-46071351653?aff=es2 to register for the free event.