Nurturing Jessica’s child care ambition
Rathbone’s Pathways programme is helping former Redwood school student Jessica Stewart realise her dream of working with children.
Redwood is a pioneering secondary special school that enables students with disabilities and special educational needs. It teamed-up with Rathbone in 2009 and the pairing has proved to be a winning combination ever since.
Backed by the European Social Fund, Pathways enables young people to increase their employment potential through work placement opportunities and by working with them to gain qualifications and practical life skills.
Jessica was particularly apprehensive when leaving the security of Redwood behind and felt that every time she gained in confidence, something would knock her back. Happily, after some friends recommended Rathbone, her time with Pathways has changed all that. Staffing Rochdale’s reception desk, playing a key role in Halloween festivities and events such as day trips to Blackpool, has seen Jessica make new friends and find her voice.
Now prepared to begin an apprenticeship in childcare, she said “I felt closed-up before I came on Pathways, but I’ve met new people and can always turn to my tutors for help.”
With babysitting experience under her belt and her ambition to work in a caring profession, it seems Jessica wants to return the favour and help the others around her.
Words and photograph by Rathbone Media Intern, Chris Mayall.