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My Experience as a Kickstarter at Living Well

My name is Hitam and I have recently completed a 6-month Kickstart role as a Project Assistant at Living Well UK, a mental health charity that supports people to access support for mental health and wellbeing for free.
 
The Kickstart Scheme, launched by Rishi Sunak, offered 16–to 24-year-olds work placements. This was for individuals who were on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The jobs were brand new roles created by employers, for a 6-month contract on 25 hours per week. Those on the scheme had support in finding future work, CV writing, and developing new skills. So far, the scheme has created 96,700 jobs across the country. Living Well Consortium has offered over 30 job placements and filled 26 between the Central Team and Consortium Members.
 
I graduated from Birmingham City University with a First Honours in Digital Marketing. I aspired to secure a graduate role in the Marketing sector. But, the pandemic hit in 2020 which had an impact on recent graduates. Applying for jobs was not easy, so I started to rethink my career options and decided to take a break. I then discovered the Kickstart Scheme and had a brilliant work coach. The application process was easy. The interview process was not as scary. Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking! The interview was informal and felt more like a conversation. This helped me answer questions well as it felt less intimidating. Following a successful interview, I got the job and started in July 2021. I was happy for the opportunity to develop new skills and broaden my knowledge of the Third sector. Whilst working in the role, I developed skills in communication and teamwork.
 
I went to a breakfast meeting in the local park with others, Living Well line managers, and staff on my first day. We played ice breaker games which were such fun and helped us start conversations and get to know each other.
Working as a Project Assistant for Living Well, I had the opportunity to help with various tasks. I produced content for social media, newsletters, and blogs. For example, I had the chance to create the ‘Winter of Living Well’ PR, leaflets, and social media promotion. I also attended events and workshops. In a team, I have developed my skills in time management, organisation, prioritising, and teamwork. This was to ensure the work was running well. These are skills I know I will be able to utilise within any field of work. I participated in training and continued development as agreed with my Line Manager. For example, I attended Mental Health First Aid training and received a certificate. I got to discover what I am good at and what I needed to work on. I loved the team; they were always supportive.
I am grateful to have worked with such a wonderful group of people. I appreciate the time they spent mentoring me and helping me to grow my skills. The Kickstart scheme has given me the chance to improve myself as an employee. I have gained the confidence to apply for jobs. It is a great opportunity for young people. I have enjoyed my placement at Living Well and cannot recommend the scheme enough!

Hitam Hassan

Kickstart Scheme Participant

Project Assistant

Living Well UK

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