Volunteering to help other people struggling to find work has given a jobless north Hull woman a kickstart to her own career.
By assisting at local charity Unity in Community, Mellisa Butler, 22, of North Hull Estate, has had new opportunities open up for her.
After leaving school, Mellisa completed childcare and business administration studies, which took three years in total to complete. Unable to then find employment, she approached Unity about a volunteering role.
Mellisa said: “Without any proper work experience I didn’t know what type of job would really suit me so I approached the team at Unity to see if they could help.
“I had always been aware of the charity as a local community organisation but I hadn’t engaged with them until December 2019.”
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Mellisa was invited to explore some of the different options at Unity, which aims to support the local community through a number of different funded projects; offers a variety of training courses and runs a number of initiatives designed to benefit the community.
“I jumped at the chance as it would give me experience working in a completely new environment and I started working as their employment support volunteer,” said Mellisa.
As a result, she has been given a place on Kickstart, a six-month programme of paid work experience, with the Standguide Group which has a base in King Edward Street, in Hull.
“During my time at Unity, I gained so many different interpersonal skills, customer services, digital skills, confidence and so much more,” said Mellisa.
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“I hope my experience will encourage other young people in a similar situation to explore volunteering opportunities, to help get a firm foot on the career ladder.
“The opportunity through Kickstart has led me to local employer Standguide and this type of customer-facing role is right up my street.
"Hopefully, if I make a good impression in this new role, I will be offered a job within the business. Either way I’ll have the experience and it will be so worth it.”
Robert Carey of Unity said: “After starting as a volunteer, Mellisa kept in touch with us throughout the lockdown period as well.
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“She had been such a breath of fresh air, all of our service users really enjoyed her support and bubbly personality. This type of advisory role suited her right down to the ground.”
He added: “Kickstart is a six-month programme to support young people who are currently unemployed and not in education or training.
“It helps people of all ages to gain relevant paid work experience which either leads to a job with that particular employer, or improves prospects with others.”