It’s been a delight to see the difference getting involved in the Government’s Kickstart scheme has made to the confidence of our first two recruits.

When we heard about the initiative, to provide opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds through the workplace, we were keen to see how we could get involved.

Five months ago we welcomed Sean Canavan and Ben Hamlett to work in our donation and distribution centre, supervised and mentored by our retail manager, John Thirkell.

As these two young men head towards the end of their six-month stint with us we’re proud to have played a part in making a difference, by giving them the experience to help them get onto the career ladder.

Through their time with Bury Hospice they have developed skills, knowledge and experience and this will put them in good stead for applying for jobs in the future.

It’s heart-warming to hear the feedback from 22-year-old Sean and 19-year-old Ben. Sean had previously been doing agency work and became unemployed as soon as Covid restrictions came into place.

He said: “By working with Bury Hospice my confidence has grown and I have enjoyed meeting new people, working with volunteers and improving my communication skills. I will be sad to leave when my six months is up and would recommend the Kickstart scheme with the hospice to any young people looking to improve their chances of employment.”

Mr Thirkell added: “Sean and Ben have been an asset to the retail team and I am delighted to have been instrumental in giving them the opportunity to gain new skills to take with them on the next step of their employment journey.”

For Ben this is his first job and says this opportunity working as a van-mate has made him ‘come out of his shell’.

While we’re a small organisation we are passionate about giving back and helping where we can.

It is one of our ways of thanking our community, as we would not be here without you. We currently have Kickstart vacancies to be filled, which can be found on our website.

I’d recommend any employer across Bury to look at the Government’s Kickstart scheme. We all have a social responsibility to do our bit in providing opportunities for our younger people and I can whole heartedly recommend this scheme that provides a springboard into the world of work.