“I was over the moon when I got a place on the course at Royal Oldham Hospital and spent my first week being mentored by staff, learning the computer systems, and helping with maintenance. It was a great introduction to how the NHS operates.

I then moved to another department to experience something new. Everyone again was so welcoming and I learnt about teamwork, communication and how important it is to keep hospitals clean and comfortable for those that need them. I was really getting stuck in by this stage and enjoyed it.

“The programme was so enlightening and I felt like it was the opportunity I had needed after a few months of unemployment. So, when the course was cut short due to COVID-19, I was obviously disappointed. But I knew it was for the best of patients, their families and colleagues.

“However, my luck changed on the very same day when the manager asked if I’d like to start work as a porter. I said yes and couldn’t believe it. Clearly colleagues had noticed my passion and my hard work was being recognised. That felt amazing.

“I started pretty much straight away and already feel positive about my future career with the NHS. When the pandemic calms down I am thinking of putting myself forward for a Facilities Management apprenticeship. There’s no stopping me now.”

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