Bethany, 19, lives with her family in Longsight, Manchester. She got in touch with Manchester Young Lives after seeing a leaflet advertising their services, which include one-to-one employment support through Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent.
When she began working with her Talent Coach, Martina, Bethany was struggling with establishing a daily routine and was not particularly confident. She had completed a traineeship with the NHS but had not managed to find a job afterwards.
Martina and Bethany decided that a volunteering role would enhance Bethany’s employability skills, improve her understanding of her capabilities, and increase her confidence.
Martina supported Bethany in applying for a volunteer position at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). Anticipating that the application could take a while to process, Martina suggested that Bethany consider other options. As such, after a visit to the MRI to speak to current volunteers, Martina and Bethany dropped into a nearby Oxfam shop on Oxford Road.
There was a post available for a volunteer assistant manager position. Martina helped Bethany to successfuly apply for the post and Bethany is currently volunteering three days a week in the shop and takes on additional shifts at weekends.
Emily, the shop manager has been delighted with Bethany’s progress.
She said: “Bethany has been really reliable – to the extent she’s now opening up the shop when I’m not there. She’s very dedicated to her role and is a very happy, positive person to be around.”
Reflecting on Bethany’s journey, Martina said: “I’m really pleased with her progress, she’s blossomed.”
“Bethany seems to have found her niche in retail and I think it’s the way forward for her. Oxfam is a good match too: Bethany wants to work for a good cause.”
Bethany is keeping her eyes open for any relevant, paid work but is keen to keep developing her skills through volunteering.