Over the February half-term, two ambitious young people from Cumbria took part in their ‘Dream Placement week’ with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW).
The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and disability services, welcomed Jenny and Evie as part of the Centre for Leadership Performance’s Dream Placement programme.
This unique leadership and work experience programme is designed to showcase the breadth of career opportunities within Cumbria to 16-18 year olds, whilst also providing them with an insight into leadership capability and the opportunities to develop their own skills and confidence over the 6-month programme.
On their placement, Evie and Jenny were tasked with researching and recommending how the Trust could work with schools and encourage more young people to consider a career in the NHS. They also met with various teams within the Trust to learn about the different career paths available.
We were quite frankly blown away by all the young people we met! Jenny and Evie were a joy to host on their placement with us, and we would be thrilled to welcome them back soon.Paula WestleyInterim Group Head of Workforce and Organisational Development
Paula Westley, Interim Group Head of Workforce and Organisational Development for North Cumbria at CNTW, said: “This was the first time we have taken part in the Dream Placement programme, and it exceeded our expectations from day one. We were asked to interview six candidates for the opportunity to join us for a placement.
“Initially, we had only planned to host one student on a placement, but were quite frankly blown away by all the young people we met! So, we decided to offer an additional placement – if we could have taken all six, we would have.
“Jenny and Evie were a joy to host on their placement with us, and we would be thrilled to welcome them back soon.”
Thank you so much to all of the teams we have had the privilege of meeting for being so welcoming; we felt comfortable and supported through the entire process.Jenny
Reflecting on her experience, Jenny said: “The placement has influenced the career I am interested in, confirming that I want to work within the NHS […] to help people live a better life. It’s solidified my decision to apply for medicine and strive to be a doctor.
“Thank you so much […] to all of the teams we have had the privilege of meeting for being so welcoming; we felt comfortable and supported through the entire process.”
Evie’s career ambitions were also boosted by her placement: “This week has opened my eyes to the behind-the-scenes of the NHS. I feel as though my passion and motivation to study medicine and eventually be a part of this organisation in the future has been driven significantly.
I have learned so much and spoken to so many incredible people.Evie
“I have learned so much and spoken to so many incredible people. I remain passionate about wanting to go into the psychiatry field, and speaking to Dr Pulkit and the experience on the ward was so valuable to me.
“I genuinely cannot thank everyone involved in the planning and running of this placement enough, and every individual who took the time to speak to us.”
Evie and Jenny will continue their journey with the Centre for Leadership Performance through the Cumbria Future Leaders network, which engages Cumbria’s young adults and supports them as they transition into employment or higher education.
And on Thursday 17th March, everyone involved will be invited to the Dream Placement Showcase event at Energus, an opportunity for the students to share their experiences, highlight their achievements and continue to build their networks.