Placement gets Thomas set for volunteer role | Latest news

Placement gets Thomas set for volunteer role

A young student from Wakefield has landed a role as a volunteer at the Trust following a successful supported employment placement.

19 year old Thomas Hook volunteered at Pinderfields Hospital in Verve Cafe for a six month placement as part of the Get SET programme at Wakefield College. The team were so pleased with him they offered him a permanent volunteer role.

Vikki Padgett, Voluntary Services Manager at the Trust, said: “Tom settled in straight away as a volunteer, his sense of humour and friendly attitude meant he was a great asset to the café team. During his time in the café two fellow volunteers saw the potential in Tom and suggested he was taken on as a volunteer guide at Pinderfields. He’s just over a month into the role and is doing great.”

The Get SET programme Tom was part of is aimed at young people with a learning disability who are not likely to access the workplace independently, it aims to enable them to gain the skills needed for employment.

After the first term students spend the majority of their time in a supported employment placement with a local employer or community based service supported by a job coach.

Tom wanted to volunteer at Pinderfields as he had visited hospital a lot himself and was keen to do something to help others. He has difficulty with fine motor skills and at the start of the programme was very anxious, needing lots of reassurance, but he is now going from strength to strength.

“I wanted to do a role which would help me gain confidence and independence,“ said Tom. “I enjoy volunteering because I like meeting and getting on with both customers and my colleagues. Becoming a volunteer has helped me to keep busy and active.”

This is the first year The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has partnered with Wakefield College for its Get SET Programme but it is hoping to continue the relationship for the coming years.