Make a Difference with Volunteering 🌍

It’s Volunteers Week, so let’s take a deep dive into the world of volunteering and why you should consider it 🌍

Volunteering is about using your time and talents to make a positive difference for a cause you care about. Volunteers don’t get paid, but some organisations cover expenses, such as travel costs, so it’s always worth double-checking with the organisation.

Volunteering isn’t just about giving back to the community (although that’s important too). Volunteering can be a total game-changer for your own personal growth. Need proof? Ask Becca, our Business Support Officer who volunteered at a local charity shop. She said:

“Volunteering was rewarding, and I’m grateful for everything I learned. I started wanting to improve my confidence, but after a few weeks, the other skills I built on were significant and gave me the confidence to start applying for jobs.”

 

Some of the young people we’ve supported have gone on to volunteer with some amazing local organisations!
  • After working with Fliss for careers support, Lucy[1] joined Worcester Cathedral’s gift shop as a permanent volunteer. This opportunity has helped Lucy gain more confidence in meeting new people and has given her an excellent talking point on her CV.
  • Oliver received support from both Rhys, our Wellbeing Coach, and our Careers Advisors to build his self-esteem and gain work experience. Fliss organised an exciting volunteering opportunity for Oliver at Worcester Cathedral’s Café. This experience has led to Oliver becoming much more comfortable within social settings, and he is now ready to take on new challenges and achieve his goal of getting a job.
  • We’ve also worked with Stepway and The Salvation Army, two incredible organisations that largely rely on volunteers, to provide volunteering opportunities for some of the young people we support.

 

Here’s why you should consider volunteering:
  1. Skill boost: Volunteering is a fast-track learning opportunity for life skills. From teamwork to problem-solving, you’ll pick up skills you can use anywhere (and will look great on your CV).
  2. Gain confidence: If you don’t feel ready for the responsibility of a paid job, volunteering is the perfect opportunity to work on your confidence and people skills in a professional setting.
  3. Meet people: Volunteering isn’t just about the work; it’s about the people. Regardless of where you volunteer, you’ll meet a wide range of people you would have likely never met before.
  4. Test a career: If you’re not sure what you want to do in the future, volunteering means you can try out different things without the pressure of a paid job. It’s like a sneak peek into a career!
  5. Make a difference: Whatever organisation or charity you volunteer for, you’re making a difference and supporting your community.

 

Ready to volunteer?

Pop by our Worcester or Redditch Hub for advice on volunteering and support in finding the perfect opportunity for you!

 

Check out the Worcestershire Community Action Network (We CAN) links below to find local volunteering opportunities.

 

[1] Name changed for privacy reasons.

Volunteers packing food

World Creativity and Innovation Day

Getting creative is an important part of our lives and it’s good for our spirit and for our development. Study shows that when we participate in creative activities we learn to think outside the box, adapt to change and build relationships easier. It can also serve as a coping mechanism for mental health. Being creative can help reduce stress and anxiety while helping us to manage our emotions.

Ways you can get creative are:

  • Learning how to knit or crochet.
  • Writing a poem or a song
  • Drawing
  • Colouring or painting
  • Clay modelling
  • Scrapbooking or journalling
  • Organise flowers or pot some plants

Becoming more creative in your day-to-day life might encourage you to become more curious and outgoing, which could lead to us becoming more sociable.

Here at the Careers Hub we offer Mindful Colouring, this is a great way to enjoy some time to be fully present and surround yourself with people who are like-minded. Choose from a range of colouring patterns, or just suggest to us a specific theme/movie or character that you’d like to colour in.

While the calming meditation music plays softly in the background, you can chill, have a chat with other people here, so join us in the Oasis room, located towards the back of The Hive (ask a member of staff if you get lost!) Dates will go live in May, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page and our website.

International Day of Happiness

On the 20 March, we have a whole day dedicated to happiness! And why shouldn’t we? It’s so important that we encourage and celebrate happiness, especially with all the doom and gloom around us at times.

So, why do we celebrate this internationally? We celebrate this as a reminder of the significance of happiness in our lives and since 2012 the United Nations has recognised the importance of happiness and well-being.

Happiness should be recognised as a fundamental human right and everyone can make a conscious effort to increase positivity in our lives through various activities. This can lead to a better quality of life!

Positive psychology

Having a brighter outlook on life can be achieved by changing your mindset, making better life choices, and having personal goals. Understanding yourself can help with controlling emotions and preventing us from going on a downward spiral the minute something goes wrong in our lives.

Having resilience can get us through hard times and small inconveniences as well as huge negative life events.

Mindfulness and meditation

To be mindful is to be present and aware of what is happening around us. You can practice mindfulness which helps us to connect with the present, more easily and we can do this with various things.

One of my favourite ways to practice mindfulness is by participating in some yoga. I do this at home, on my own, in complete silence. This allows me to connect with my body and my breathing while getting my blood to flow around my whole body.

Meditation is a practice that helps us focus and clear our minds of all our racing thoughts and endless worries, this has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress by relaxing us. Use calming ‘meditation music’ or free apps such as ‘headspace’ or ‘let’s meditate’

Gratitude journals

Journaling a great way to get your feelings out instead of bottling them up, it’s a way you can keep track of daily challenges and even positive events to be grateful for.

Counting your blessings each morning by writing in a gratitude journal will give you a more positive start to the day. Set a time each day, even twice per day if you like.

You can take ten minutes out of your day just to create small goals or reflect on what has happened throughout your day.

Selfcare

Looking after yourself is an important part of your daily routine, sometimes general tasks such as getting out of bed and having a shower can feel like massive, strenuous tasks especially when we aren’t feeling good.

It’s good to stick to a consistent routine of getting up, having a drink or breakfast, and having a wash. Extra self-care could include taking yourself on a shopping trip, having a pamper night, or watching your favourite series, one episode after another without beating yourself up about it.

Take care of yourself just as you would take care of someone else.

Relationships and connection

The types of connections and partnerships we have really impact our happiness. If you are in a toxic friendship, consider spending less time with this person or cutting contact completely, your mental health should not suffer as an impact of someone else being in your life. Your environment and surroundings are vital for your happiness, if you’re surrounded by creativity, laughter, positivity, and lightheartedness, you have a much better chance of feeling like this yourself.

OUR HAPPY HUB!

Here at the Careers Hub, we have a skilled well-being coach named Rhys who can offer six 1:1 appointments as well as unlimited group sessions for health and well-being. Some of these are round-the-table presentations where he covers subjects such as sleep, and confidence plus other sessions can be more interactive such as group walks, mindful meditation, and colouring sessions which are really popular!

The theme this season is ‘Planting Seeds of Well-being’ and this workshop is bookable via our Careers Worcestershire website and is taking place at 2pm on 22nd March.

BOOK HERE: Book Your Class with Careers Worcestershire – Worcester – worcestershire (setmore.com)

Celebrate National Careers Week with Us!  💼

This week is National Careers Week (4 – 9th March)!

If you are having a hard time navigating the job market and finding employment, then National Careers Week is the perfect opportunity to explore different career paths and options! Whether that’s popping in to see us at the Hub for advice on your next steps (which you can do by clicking here) or researching careers by yourself, make the most of this careers week!

There are so many different routes into one career, and finding the path right for you can be difficult. So, I’ve researched three popular careers and the main ways to get into them!

 

🧑‍💼 Administrator

If you’re interested in supporting other professionals, then becoming a secretary or administrator is a great career choice!

As an admin, you will provide both clerical and administrative support to professionals. You may do this as part of a team or individually. You will be involved with the coordination and implementation of office procedures, as well as hold responsibility for specific projects and tasks. In some cases, you might oversee and supervise the work of junior staff.

To become an admin, you will either need relevant experience or formal qualifications, such as an apprenticeship, in a subject like business or management.

 

🧑‍🏫 Teacher

Becoming a teacher can be so rewarding but involves lots of hard work!

As a teacher, you will support children/people in their learning, as well as organise displays and attend meetings. You could teach in a variety of places, such as a school or college and more!

If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, you can get the necessary qualifications by:

  • Completing a university course that leads to qualified teacher status, such as the undergraduate programme for the Bachelor of Education degree.

However, if the university course you are interested in doesn’t involve a teaching qualification, you can complete a postgraduate certificate in education afterwards. This can either be done at university or through a study programme based in a school if you’d prefer to get hands-on experience.

  • Completing an apprenticeship after getting a degree. If you’re interested in earning while you learn to become a qualified teacher, you’ll need to complete a Level 6 Teaching apprenticeship.
  • Working towards this role by completing a degree alongside being a teaching assistant with the relevant qualifications. Like an apprenticeship, this will also give you hands-on experience in the teaching environment while earning money.

 

🧑‍💻 Graphic designer

If you have a creative mind, graphic design could be your passion (and your future career!)

As a graphic designer, you’ll create eye-catching visuals for a variety of products and activities, such as: Websites, advertising, books and magazines, computer games, product packaging, exhibitions and displays and corporate communications.

You can become a graphic designer by:

  • Completing college courses, such as a level 2 technical award in graphic design and building a strong portfolio to showcase your creative ability.

Having a college-level qualification might mean you have to work your way up to becoming a graphic designer by starting out in a company as a design assistant.

  • Getting a university degree in graphic design or illustration and developing a strong portfolio.

 

🧑‍⚕️ Veterinary nurse

If you like caring for animals, supporting veterinary surgeons with sick and injured animals could be your future career!

Veterinary nurses are involved in the hands-on nursing and care of animals, providing both emergency treatment and routine healthcare. As a veterinary nurse, you will play a key role in educating pet owners and promoting animal health and welfare through responsible ownership alongside veterinary surgeons.

To be a veterinary nurse, you’ll need to learn a lot, but this can look different depending on the route you choose:

  • Getting a university degree in veterinary nursing that is approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • Going to college and completing a level 3 diploma in a relevant course, which will involve a work placement.
  • Getting experience and training with an apprenticeship like the level 3 apprenticeship in veterinary nursing.

Some apprenticeship providers might expect you to have a relevant full-time position already.

 

🧍 Social Worker

If you like the idea of supporting people in the community, then a social worker may be the ideal career for you!

As a social worker, you’ll support individuals and their families through difficult times and help to find solutions to their problems. This could be by making sure that vulnerable people, including children and adults, are protected from harm or by helping people to live more independently with the support they need.

To become a social worker, you will likely require a degree in Social Work. There are other routes to becoming a social worker, including getting a relevant apprenticeship or joining a graduate training scheme.

 

Take the opportunity to discover and explore various careers during National Careers Week!

To learn more about career routes, click here to visit the National Careers Service job directory!

 

Celebrating Women in Science

Sunday 11 Feb marks International Celebration of Women and Girls in Science Day…

Scientific careers are part of a group of industries known as STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Most STEM industries and work environments are male dominated, with women making up just over 29% of the STEM workforce. This is why there’s such a big push to encourage women and girls interested in STEM subjects to continue pursuing a career in this field.

Women have played massive roles in scientific advancements throughout history, with some contributions often overlooked.

I’ve put together a list of just a few of the fantastic female science pioneers. If you have any that you want to share with me, feel free to drop me an email (Emma) and tell me about any women in science that inspire you.

Interested in a career in science?

At Careers Worcs we can help you with advice and guidance if you’re interested in a career in the sciences (or any career to be honest!) so why not make an appointment to pop in and see us down at our HQ in The Hive, Worcester.

We can help you with employment, education, training and wellbeing support – so get in touch and let’s help you #KickStartYourCareer

 

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)

Marie Curie was a Polish scientist who specialised in chemistry and physics. She is famously remembered for her discovery of radium and polonium and her contributions to the discovery of cancer treatments.

Curie won two Nobel Prizes:

In 1903, Curie, her husband, and other researchers won a Nobel Prize for research on radioactivity. Curie then won her second Prize in 1911 for her contributions to chemistry and developing a way to measure radioactivity.

Even after winning two Nobel Prizes, Curie continued with her research. During the First World War, she developed a portable X-ray machine to detect and diagnose injuries on the battlefield.

To learn more about Marie Curie, click here to read more about her life as a scientist!

 

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake (1840 – 1912)

Sophia Jex-Blake was an English physician, teacher, and feminist.

She led a campaign to allow women to study medicine and (along with 6 other women) became known as The Edinburgh 7 who successfully petitioned for a place. She graduated and became the first practicing female doctor in Scotland and one of the first across the broader UK.

Afterwards she founded the London School of Medicine for Women, which became the only place a woman could earn a medical degree in the UK for years.

While her medical accomplishments and her pioneering role are often cited, an important aspect of her life is rarely mentioned, in that she was a lesbian.

Learn more about Sophia here.

 

Marie Van Brittan Brown (1922 – 1999)

Marie Van Brittan Brown was an American nurse and inventor of the first home security system!

She invented the security system to monitor her home when she was both in and out, as she felt unsafe in her neighbourhood at night. Her original invention involved creating peepholes to place moveable cameras and a two-way microphone system. The cameras and microphones monitoring the doors meant that Brown could speak to the person outside. If that person was an intruder, Brown could notify the police by pushing a button.

Brown and her husband filed a patent for the system in 1966, giving them legal ownership of the invention. This invention inspired many modern home security creations and was the first CCT (closed-circuit television) system.

Click here to read more about Marie Van Brittan Brown’s invention.

 

Lise Meitner (1878-1968)

Meitner was an Austrian physicist and co-discovered Nuclear Fission with Otto Hahn (a German physicist).

Their friendship began in 1905 after Meitner graduated from the University of Vienna and moved to Berlin to continue her research into radioactivity and physics. Meitner continued to work with Hahn even when, in 1938, the War forced her to flee Germany.

Even though they spent decades studying nuclear fission, once they’d discovered and Meitner tested the theory repeatedly, Hahn published the findings under his name. In 1944, Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering Nuclear Fission, whilst Meitner’s contribution was ignored. Even though Meitner’s involvement was found by the award givers at the Nobel Prize Academy a year later, they voted to ignore her contributions. Even today, the only official recognition of Meitner’s involvement in discovering nuclear fission was naming element 109 after her in 1992.

Click here to read more about Lise Meitner and the discovery of fission!

 

Upcoming Careers Talk 📢

Stay tuned for a fantastic careers talk featuring women in science. You can view our Careers Talks here!

 

Thank for reading!

– Emma

 

1 According to a 2023 Government study, which you can read here.
2 Nuclear Fissions are reactions involving a nucleus splitting into smaller nuclei. Learn more (or refresh your memory) about nuclear fission here: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zx86y4j/revision/1

 

 

Am atom image with a female symbol at the centre.

Me & My Apprenticeship

I knew I didn’t want to go to university, I knew I didn’t want student debt…I knew I wanted to carry on learning and get a qualification…I knew I wanted to earn money after college – I just didn’t know that an apprenticeship was the perfect choice for me, until I looked into it!

Hi, my name is Beth.

I have always known that the career I wanted to go into would be a creative one. I loved art at school and I knew that I wanted to do something that would let me be creative and I knew that university wasn’t for me. I never wanted to do something that felt repetitive, this is why I chose a digital marketing apprenticeship.

I started looking into my options in apprenticeship and I found out one that was about digital marketing, which really appealed to me and it seemed like like a versatile and innovative role. Marketing is also something needed, it is something that is ever-changing and that was an exciting concept to me.

Do your research

Initially, the thought of covering extensive content, assembling a portfolio, taking exams, participating in an interview about my work, and completing a final project seemed daunting. I worried about balancing work whilst getting all of this done. However, this worry quickly went away once I started the apprenticeship.

The structure of 4-day courses every few months covering all relevant content and taking exams as soon as courses finished put me at ease. I also appreciated having six dedicated hours each week to work on my portfolio or study, I usually took these hours all at once and had an ‘apprenticeship day’ every week, if I needed a little extra time to work on my portfolio all I had to do was ask.

The apprenticeship’s best aspect, for me, was the combination of earning a salary, gaining practical experience, and acquiring a qualification, knowledge, and skills. It provided valuable working connections and allowed me to realise that the skills I acquired are transferable and the qualification obtained opens doors to diverse opportunities.

If I wanted to after the level 3 apprenticeship you can move on to level 6 which is equivalent to obtaining a degree- this is a positive alternative to university!

The challenges

Doing an apprenticeship is challenging work, I’m not going to lie. It takes effort and dedication, however I would not change the path I chose for myself.

Obviously at times I still felt stressed as I am human! I put pressure on myself because I wanted to do well and worried if what I was not doing was not good enough, however, I only had to bring this up with my employer or my training provider and they would help me by coming up with solutions and provided support to get me back on track.

I have come out of it with positive feedback on the work I did, persevered, and got through all the exams even the coding one which I found particularly difficult and have gained my qualification.

Once I finished my apprenticeship with Worcestershire County Council, I started to look at what other opportunities were available and I applied for a job in another part of the council. I had an interview for an Assistant Marketing & Communications Officer role – and I got it! That is the role that I am doing right now!

Summary

Worcestershire Apprenticeships logoAn apprenticeship demands hard work, effort, and dedication. However, I would not change the path I chose for myself. Positive feedback on my work, overcoming challenges like a difficult coding exam and securing my qualification were all rewarding.

I recommend an apprenticeship – it can open so many doors to you and gives the ability to earn while you learn. You will be supported along the way and there are so many options and industries to choose from. Check out Worcestershire Apprenticeships website for more details and to find out about the WA Account and Bursary, it is like a one-stop shop for your apprenticeship journey. It is a great place to start, and you can also talk to the fantastic team at Careers Worcs for more info. Good luck – your journey starts here!

 

– Bethan

Navigating the Future and Staying in Education 📚🎓

In a world full of opportunities, choosing the path that leads to success can be such a daunting task. While our name is Careers Worcestershire, our advisors can also help you find education and training courses and support you with applications. If you’re confused about your next steps, click here to book an appointment with us!

 

Staying in education is great because:

  1. It keeps options open. Staying in education helps keep your options open, as your qualifications can help you get into various careers.
  2. You gain practical skills and qualities that will help you prepare for employment. Higher levels of education often result in more career opportunities and increased earning potential. Whether you’re completing a study programme at college or university, or on an apprenticeship, staying in education can be really beneficial!
  3. You meet like-minded people. Attending college and other educational institutions means that you are surrounded by people of a similar age with similar interests, helping you create a network of friends and increasing your social circle.
  4. It can be flexible. Whether it’s T-Levels, A-Levels, a degree or a study programme, staying in education doesn’t have to be about studying in a classroom and sitting exams because some courses offer hands-on learning.

 

Education is the key to unlocking your potential

There are so many benefits to continuing your studies, such as better opportunities as a result of more qualifications!

If you don’t like sitting in a classroom and reading textbooks, there are still so many ways to continue learning and gain qualifications. If you’re interested in finding out ways to stay in education that isn’t just going to uni or college, read our blog on alternative routes here: www.careersworcs.co.uk/what-are-your-options

 

 

The word Learn in Scrabble tiles

New Year, New You!

Welcome to 2024!

I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready for a successful year?

There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year to set goals and New Years resolutions which can be hard to stick to, so my best advice would be to create realistic, manageable goals which don’t feel like a huge chore!

Here at Careers Worcs, we are more than just a careers advice service. While we do offer great services to help 16-24 year olds get on track for a job , training or further education, we also have other services to offer- such as wellbeing support or housing support.


Hub Club – Monthly, starting Thursday 11/1/24 drop in any time between 10am to 3pm 
Click here to book!

Come down to us at Careers Worcestershire and have a chat, grab a coffee and a cake, and meet like-minded people. A chance to make new friends, take part in fun games and activities. We are all in this together and building a sense of community is really important for us! If you have any suggestions of activities you’d like to see please let us know and we can tailor this experience to you.


Job Club – Support with job search every Wednesday 10am to 12pm 
 Click here to book!

As always, our weekly job club will be running on Wednesdays. This gives you the opportunity to come along and use the services here at the Hive to log into the computers here to access job searching websites, gain advice from our careers advisors who can help support you with your applications if needed.

Some of the ways we can help you this year include our Health and Wellbeing sessions… These can either be 1-1 or group sessions, and we’ve introduced some great new group sessions which include;


Monday 08/01/24- New Year, New You workshop at 2 to 3pm – Click here to book!

Focusing on setting goals for the new year that can help with mental, physical, and emotional well-being. We’ll discuss stress management, mindful practices, and nutrition, incorporating the principles of a plant-based lifestyle. We’ll also have some great activities to get involved with, such as group discussions, goal-setting exercises, and practical plant-based cooking.


Friday 12/1/24- Wellbeing
Walk at 1 to 2pm- Click here to book!

The walk will promote a sense of community and support, enjoy the benefits of physical activity, fresh air, and the company of like-minded individuals. The group setting provides opportunities for conversation, connection, and the shared pursuit of improved mental and physical wellbeing. It’s a chance to collectively unwind, recharge, and strengthen social bonds while taking positive steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Friday 19/1/24- Mindful Colouring at 2 to 3pm- Click here to book!

This session invites young adults to unwind and focus on the present moment through the simple yet meditative act of colouring. We will embrace the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness as we immerse ourselves in intricate patterns and designs. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a first-time colourer, this session will offer a serene space to decompress, connect with your inner self, and cultivate a sense of calm. The session will offer an hour of mindful colouring to foster relaxation, stress reduction, and creative expression.

Friday 26/1/24- Guided Group Meditation at 2 to 3pm- Click here to book!

This aims to be a serene and collective experience focused on promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and inner calm. The attendees will gather in a quiet and comfortable space. The shared meditation experience will foster a supportive and positive atmosphere, enhancing overall well-being and leaving the young people with a renewed sense of clarity and tranquillity.

Financial Wellbeing Drop-In session – Wednesday 24/1/24 11am to 12.30pm Click here to book!

Zoe from The Basement Project (housing support) will be here to support you with your finances. Christmas is a very expensive time for everyone, with some budgeting advice and an offer for foodbank vouchers and free data on a sim card, you let us know what you need, and we can try our best to help.

The Basement Project are a service which support people facing homelessness and can offer advice and support regarding housing, an extra service they are running this year is support for money worries.

 

Speak soon 🙂
– Aimee