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Kickstart to employment

The Government’s Kickstart Scheme provided funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

Alice House took part in this scheme and has given placements to 87 young people since April 2021. Each of these people were given a 25 hour per week, 6 month placement in a particular area of the Hospice. Placement holders all took part in a Workplace Skills course, provided by Orangebox Training and were mentored in their roles by Hospice staff.

Kickstart placements worked across the organisation, with roles in Communications, Maintenance, the Holistic Wellbeing Centre, Administration, Catering, Retail and our gaming and technology centre, NEVRlabs.  As the first wave of placements drew towards the end of their 6 months, we were able to offer a mix of permanent and temporary contracts to 11 Kickstarts.

Seb now works as part of the Maintenance Team at Alice House:

“The Kickstart Scheme was a great way to get back into employment after losing my previous job through lockdown; I’ve learned a lot from Vince and Bert who I work alongside most of the time, which also helped me secure a permanent role at the Hospice and I’ve also met some great people so far here and it’s a job I thoroughly enjoy doing and just hope I can continue learning and progressing and getting better at.”

Dylan and Lewis started on placements in May 2021 as VR Assistants in NEVRlabs, both of whom have since taken full time jobs and been promoted to Shift Supervisors. NEVRlabs is a gaming and technology centre in Hartlepool, owned by and run as a fundraising initiative for Alice House Hospice.

Dylan said, “Before NEVRlabs, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Sure, I went to college and university, but they only take you so far. I hadn’t worked a single day in my life, and with no working experience, finding jobs is almost impossible nowadays. That’s where Alice House Hospice and the Kickstart Scheme come in. The Kickstart Scheme benefitted my life tremendously. It allowed me to meet new people, find new interests and discover myself a little more, all while raising funds for Alice House. It was a great
experience and seizing the opportunity for a permanent position made it all the more incredible.

Being a shift leader at NEVRlabs gives you a sense of purpose and a feeling of fulfilment, which I don’t believe you get from anywhere else. One of my favourite things about working here is opening up in the morning to greet customers and hear their first gasp of bewilderment as they walk onto the main floor for the first time. It’s also the thought of people having a great experience and that the money spent goes directly to vital Hospice services.

I’m incredibly grateful to Alice House for the trust and responsibility they have given me. Alice House Hospice helped me as it helps so many others; without them, so many would suffer alone. It’s that thought that keeps me striving to better myself and give back as much as I can.”

Rosie’s Kickstart role led to a permanent position in the Hospice’s Wellbeing Centre:

“Being employed under the Kickstart Scheme at our Wellbeing Centre was a great opportunity for learning. During this time, I had access to ongoing training and support – gaining qualifications in the field of Holistic Therapies – and was able to experience the variety of elements that are behind running a Holistic Centre. As well as this, the scheme provided the security of stable hours and income. I’m proud to say that I’m now employed at our Centre and continue to learn and grow here.”

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Hartlepool Hospice Ltd (known locally as Alice House Hospice and formerly Hartlepool & District Hospice)
Registered office: Alice House, Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, TS24 9DA.