I have nothing but good things to say about both the Kickstart scheme and Independent Hostels UK. I now work in a high tech office at Cromford Mills, a grade one listed World Heritage site, and coincidentally it’s the first grade one listed World heritage site I’ve ever been able to see the inside of!
At the beginning of April, I was hired by Independent Hostels UK through a government scheme called Kickstart. This is a six month paid job with a local employer funded by the Government. It provides a fully funded opportunity for people aged 16-24 to gain valuable work experience.
The Kickstart scheme has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and cerebral palsy, so I have to use a wheelchair day to day. With that in mind, it’s been difficult for me to find my first employer.
I had applied for many apprenticeships before without success, and taking on an apprentice would have been an expensive undertaking for a small business like Independent Hostels UK. I was delighted to be approached by them via the Kickstart Scheme. They were very understanding of my issues, they were even moving into a wheelchair accessible office the very next week! It almost seemed too good to be true.
I soon found out that everything was as good as I thought it would be. The team are incredibly supportive, answering my every question. If there’s multiple ways to do the same job, I have every option explained to me and I’m free to pick what suits me best. I was encouraged to bring my walking frame to the office to help me walk independently, even though I could easily stay in my chair whilst at work. Without them having to tell me, I quickly came to realise how they take pride in helping young people to succeed – there is someone else my age in the office as well, so we make up half of the team!
With there only being four of us in the office, the atmosphere is always welcoming. I’ve been able to get to know everyone quickly and we all get on very well. This doesn’t just go for our team either, the staff on the building complex – Cromford Mills – and the staff at Cromford Creative (our building) are so friendly and helpful. I’m guaranteed a smile or a friendly wave pretty much wherever I go.
Aside from the lovely working environment, I love that Independent Hostels values eco-friendliness and sustainability so highly. For a number of years, they’ve consistently achieved the gold standard Green Tourism award and have recently relocated to a building that’s run on sustainable principles. I feel very privileged to be able to work for a company whose values are so similar to my own. I even get to indulge my interest in history as Cromford Mills is a grade one listed World Heritage site, and coincidentally it’s the first grade one listed World heritage site I’ve ever been able to see the inside of!
Sam Dalley, owner of Independent Hostels UK says ” Dee’s help in the office has been invaluable, she is quick to pick up new jobs and has a determination to complete longer tasks which is often missing in new employees. Having another member of staff has allowed us to stop fire-fighting daily tasks and given the business time to start work on new projects. Dee placement was enabled by KickstartGo who made the whole process simple and hassle free. During Dee’s first month at work KickstartGo came to visit and Dee hosted them in the meeting room at Cromford Creative”
As you can tell, I have nothing but good things to say about both the Kickstart scheme and Independent Hostels UK. Both of them together were able to provide me with my first proper job. If you’re an employer or a young person like me looking to take part in this scheme, I can tell you first-hand how much good it will do for everyone involved.