A DAY centre in Ore is celebrating National Carers Week this year (June 9 to June 15) by sharing the success story of one its young apprentices.
The Crossroads Hastings Day Centre in Ore, which provides activities, such as arts and crafts, painting, and cooking, to older people, first employed Alice Hildreth, 18, two years ago.
It was her first job when Alice finishrf school and two years after starting the apprenticeship at Crossroads, the teenager is due to start a nursing course in September.
Alice said: “My dream, when I was at school, had been to be a nurse but I was told I could never hope to do that. So I thought perhaps I could be a care worker instead - after all, care workers look after and help vulnerable people, just like nurses. Everyone assumed I would want to look after children, but I soon found out that I preferred working with older people. I had always felt that I was not clever enough to find my dreams, or at least, to only dream small and then I wouldn’t let myself down. I believed that nursing was out of my reach but, with the apprentice scheme and Crossroads, at least I was having a go at something useful and interesting.”
When Alice first started at Crossroads, she was ‘very nervous,’ but since working at the day centre, she says her confidence has really grown.
She added: “Soon I was approaching my 18th birthday and I even felt nervous about that. Imagine me, an 18-year-old! I could hardly believe it. Shortly afterwards, I was asked if I would like to work with Crossroads as a carer. I accepted straight away and I am now a permanent worker in the Hastings Day Centre and also in the community. I love it. In September of this year I am going to start a course at college: yes! - a nursing course. I also passed my driving test last month, which is proving really useful. I still smile when I remember how frightened I was when I first started on the apprentice scheme and now… well, now, I’m a care worker who is soon going to train to be a nurse. My dream has come true.”