It’s fantastic news for two young people who have had a step up on the career ladder thanks to an innovative government scheme at Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Aarron Kent and Mahwish Aurangzeb, both 24, were taken on to help run the charity’s busy warehouse and high street stores thanks to the Kickstart Scheme.
Since then, both have taken their first step on the ladder into full-time employment.
The scheme provides funding for six-month job placements aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds. Although the scheme ended in 2021, Derian House still has six retail roles available.
Derian House has been working alongside local Kickstart recruiter, Spring North, who has been on-hand to support young people throughout the scheme.
Aarron Kent joined the Derian House warehouse team in June 2021 after losing his previous job during the pandemic. He now works full-time in the Derian warehouse.
He said: “After I lost my job last year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I went to my local job centre and that’s how I found out about the Kickstart scheme.
“I already knew a bit about Derian House and the amazing work they do. It was really easy to apply and I’d encourage anyone finding it difficult to find a job to go for it!
“I love the job – I enjoy every day. My favourite part is being able to get out and about and meet lots of people. There’s a really great atmosphere and I’m really proud to be part of this amazing charity.”
Andrew Upton-Ford, Head of Retail and Online Sales for Derian House, said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to give both Aarron and Mahwish a kick start in their careers.
“They have both worked incredibly hard and we’re so pleased to welcome Aarron into his new role.
“We had hoped Mahwish would also continue with us as she was a real asset to our shops, however, she has gone on to get an exciting role supporting the NHS and we wish her all the best.
“We still have six more roles for young people to apply for – and I’d encourage everyone who might be interested to sign-up!”
Derian House Children’s Hospice currently has charity shops in Preston, Leyland, Chorley, Horwich, and Blackburn – with plans of two more opening in Accrington and Bury this year.
The shops provide a vital stream of income for the children’s hospice, which cares for more than 400 seriously ill babies, children and young people from across the North West.
Full details about the Kickstart Scheme can be found here.