ECCH welcomes Prince's Trust trainees

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) is working in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to offer training to unemployed young people from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft who are keen to follow careers in the health sector.

The social enterprise, which provides NHS community health services across Norfolk and Suffolk, has welcomed 12 young people aged between 16 and 25onto a month long training scheme as part of The Prince’s Trust ‘Get Into Healthcare’ programme.

The training begins with a fortnight of classroom sessions covering all aspects of the service ECCH provides. Delegates will then take up a series of three day placements with different ECCH teams. These could be clinical services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and community nursing, or ‘back office’ functions such as Human Resources and IT.

The aim is for all those taking part to obtain a Care Certificate by the end of the course. This is a qualification that all NHS health and social care support workers require to prove they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide safe, compassionate care.

The twelve delegates applied to attend the free course after attending a taster day with ECCH earlier this month.

 ECCH course co-ordinator Nicole Hobson said: “It’s a condensed course and we’re trying to give them placements tailored to what they’re interested in. It’s great to be giving young people a chance. They’re so enthusiastic and they really want to get their feet on the ladder so this is a very exciting opportunity for them.”

ECCH’s chief executive Jonathan Williams said: “This programme is very close to my heart and I feel very proud of our organisation for making it happen. I began as a nursing auxiliary when I was at a bit of a loss for what to do as a job and a friend who was a nurse managed to get me an interview. Nursing not only became my career but it also helped me to discover how much I was capable of and helped me gain confidence following a difficult upbringing in industrial South Wales. When I met these young people, I felt a connection even though there is more than 35 years difference. Nowadays it’s not as easy to get a start in the health and care industry, indeed any industry. It’s even more difficult if you come from a challenged community but these are exactly the communities who need opportunities for young people.”

The Prince’s Trust Get Into Programme Executive Lizzie Neale said: “We’re really proud to work alongside ECCH in local communities to better support young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to bridge that gap into work. This kind of support is vital if we are to provide real opportunities for disadvantaged young people to take positive steps in their lives.”

Three in four young people on The Prince’s Trust programmes move into work, training or education. The Prince’s Trust will help 59,000 disadvantaged young people this year.