New graduates add to a great success story

East of England to celebrate reaching 500 Prince’s Trust graduates. Pictured: Lena Maher, Emily Fair

East of England to celebrate reaching 500 Prince’s Trust graduates. Pictured: Lena Maher, Emily Fairhurst, Steve John Shepherd (Princes Trust Ambassador) and Kelly Jessett. Photo: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

The number of students in the East of England to graduate from the Prince's Trust's Get into Health programmes has reached 500. Thirty-four students on the current Get into Hospital Services programme graduated yesterday.

Get into Health is a partnership set up in 2008 between the youth charity and Health Education East of England. It consists of several programmes including Get into Health & Social Care, Get into Health and Wellbeing, and Get into Hospital Services.

These programmes are short vocational courses aimed at giving young people aged 16 to 25 who are not in employment or education, the necessary skills to join the NHS workforce.

In the East of England, of the 487 young people who have completed the programme to date, 63pc have moved into employment.

The Get into Hospital Services programme, delivered by NHS organisations such as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) and its hospital service provider, Serco, and funded by Health Education East of England, has been running since 2009.

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One of the charity's success stories is Sam Jones, 24, from Cromer, who was heading for a career in the RAF when her hopes were dashed as she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16. After that, her life went into a downward spiral until she was given a chance by the trust to achieve the qualifications she had missed out on at school.

She said: 'I was hoping to be a physical training instructor with the RAF, so the news about my diabetes came as a dreadful shock.

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'My hospital visits were a revelation – I had no idea so many people were involved in the care of patients with diabetes.

'When I was offered a two-week work placement as part of my Prince's Trust training, I really enjoyed the experience and things just went on from there.'

She has now completed an apprenticeship in business administration working as the apprentice administrator within the training department at the NNUH.

Julia Watling, training and development manager for the NNUH, said: 'The Get into Hospital Services programme is a great opportunity for local young people to develop their knowledge and skills and, ultimately, their confidence within the workplace.'

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