At Gateway we are currently hosting a number of work experience placements.
Joyce and Sandra, who are both studying at Newman College, are volunteering at Gateway as part of their college work experience. Joyce is studying Working with Children, Young People and Families, and Sandra is studying Youth and Community Work. Both are working towards an eventual career in social work.
At the moment, both students are working part time with Gateway’s EAST (Employment Access, Skills and Training) team. They found out about Gateway at a Volunteers Fayre and were soon recruited as Health Ambassadors in the Making Health Work project.
Making Health Work aims to help young people to have Healthy Conversations with a focus on work and employment. As part of this, we have been running regular Health Taster Days across the region, with health-based activities and information to get young people thinking about their own health. The most recent Health Taster Day was held a couple of weeks ago at Dudley College, and both Sandra and Joyce were on hand to help out.
The event was busy, with Dudley College students and staff popping in and out throughout the day. Activities included “healthy eating on a budget” demonstrations, a “mocktails” stall and a sexual health stall, all provided by Gateway’s own Health Trainers and Pregnancy Outreach Workers; football skills from Street League, and the very popular Smoothie Bike, which got people cycling with the promise of a delicious reward.
Sandra said, “It was fun – as well as working, we got to kick a football and get on the bike. It was a good atmosphere and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. It was busy for the whole day.”
Joyce said, “As well as getting some experience of working directly with young people, I’ve learnt a lot about my own health, too. The sugar table was a real eye opener, making me aware of just how much sugar is in the things I eat and drink every day.”
Both Joyce and Sandra say they chose to do a placement at Gateway because it seemed like a good fit for the courses they’re doing.
Joyce said, “I want to do social work eventually and Gateway offers a variety of roles that can give me some relevant experience. As well as Making Health Work, I’m interested in Lighten Up, and I’m hoping to do some work with the Pregnancy Outreach Workers Service in a couple of weeks, too.”