Volunteers

Case Studies

  • Joe Harrison, CEO of MK University Hospital

    Worktree’s one-hour Career WorkOut sessions in schools attract all sorts of volunteers. Recently Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of MK University Hospital, had his first go of it. Joe is the 15th NHS employee to have taken part since September.

    “I thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight the whole range of career opportunities available across the NHS,” said Joe, “not just in nursing or as a doctor, but the complete range of professions that support our local hospital.

    Joe attended the 9-10am session at Hazeley Academy on 23rd November. He joined 11 other volunteer guests to answer questions about his work from small groups of 3-4 students aged 15-16.

    “The students asked me questions about how I came to be the CEO, what educational qualifications I have, and what insights I could provide about working in the NHS,” said Joe. “It involved honest conversations about the challenges the NHS & I as a CEO, face on a day-to-day basis, and what tools/techniques I use to get me through each day.”

    “The experience of Career WorkOut made me feel enthused that there were so many interested and energetic people asking pertinent and challenging questions. It gave me a really good insight into the impressions people have of the NHS, and an opportunity to expand people’s horizons about what the NHS could offer from a career perspective

    “It made me think about what more I could do to encourage people to consider join the NHS/learn about all of the good work that is carried out in the NHS. It made me think about how we can harness the ideas and energy of the “next generation” in developing the NHS of tomorrow, as well as improving today’s NHS.

    “It also made me reflect on my working day, how I add value as an individual and what more I can do to enhance the services here at the hospital.”

    National Health Service organisations operating in and around MK have pledged a total of 65 volunteer hours to Career WorkOut during this school year. This puts the NHS in fifth position in Worktree’s league table of corporate volunteers, http://worktree.org/volunteers/pledges-for-2016-17/ .

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  • “I need to give them the best impression of me” – PCSO Andy Angus, Thames Valley Police

    Andy Angus is one year in post as a Police Community Support Officer.  Prior to that he worked in Police Communications with Thames Valley Police (Control Room) where he was both an operator and a supervisor for 22 years.

    “I decided to do a Career WorkOut session with Worktree because I feel it’s so important for students to be able to ask questions of people who are actually in the roles they may be interested in as a career.  This is something that was not available to me when I was that age and quite conceivably could have given me a far better idea about what I may have wanted to choose as a career.

    “I met some very enthusiastic students on the day who reminded me that what I do on a daily basis can and does make a difference to people.  I always view young people as potentially the people who will be there in my role in the future and I may well be calling on them to help me one day.  To that end I need to give them the best impression of me and what I do in the hope that it stays with them.

    “My colleagues should do this for the same reasons, a reminder of what we do and why we do it and a valuable opportunity to engage with the younger generation and impart some valuable lessons about what the future may hold for them.”

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  • “Sometimes things happen for a reason” – Pam OConnell of PJ Care

    Pam O’Connell began working with PJ Care in the finance department five years ago, and is now Executive Assistant to CEO Neil Russell.

    “I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school and really wasn’t interested in education,” she says.  “I just wanted to be out working and earning money.  I went back to college in my early 20s and again in my early 30s to gain further qualifications.

    “Recently I volunteered for a Career WorkOut session at Lord Grey School and spoke to older children coming up to their exams.  They asked me a variety of questions about my education and my working life and how I got to where I am now.  For me, it was important that they knew they had choices and that any decisions they made weren’t final; they could change their minds and their choices at any point in the future.  Also, that at their age many of them won’t know what they want to do and that’s OK.

    “It was easier talking with the girls but most of the young people were interested in what I had to say and asked intelligent, relevant questions.  Quite often the boys wanted to know how much money they could earn doing a particular job.  Upon returning to work I did reflect on my working life, how I got to where I am and how much I enjoy my current role in this company.  Before I came here I did go through a very unpleasant experience which, at the time, made me extremely angry and bitter but now I’m glad that it happened because I’m happy where I am today.  Sometimes things happen for a reason…

    “I think it’s important that young people understand there are lots of ways to achieve an end goal, it’s not always about qualifications now and that they have choices.  The more people they speak to in different roles, in different companies and organisations, the more they will understand that their future isn’t set in stone and that they can change their career path in the future if they want to.”

    If you would like to join a one-hour Career WorkOut session, click here.  No qualifications, no pretences, no preparation required.

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