We caught up with Lucy to find out what working at LinkAble is like.
I worked at LinkAble for five years, from the age of 16. I was also LinkAble’s first-ever DofE volunteer, so I’ve been involved with the organisation since I was 14.
I started out as a sessional worker for the first couple of years. Then I was promoted to a deputy, then group leader. So, as well as the many useful skills I learnt, I can also show career progression.
I really can’t speak highly enough of my time working at LinkAble. It’s given me such a unique set of skills at a young age. You really do learn a lot, sometimes you can feel like, why on Earth do I know this when I'm still this young!
Of course, the people using the services are the highlight of the job. There's nothing on earth more rewarding than when you click with that one person who's got challenging behaviours that you’ve been struggling to get around. Then you find how to get through to them and develop a relationship from there. It’s super rewarding.
You have the same kids coming in week after week, and as you get to know them more, you learn their cues – ‘this’ means they’re getting agitated, and ‘that’ means they’re hungry. It’s this understanding that means you can really support that person, you can step into their world because you understand them. This is a really special thing and makes Linkable quite unique, I think. There’s also such a lovely feeling of community, everyone knows everyone, staff and attendees.
Like myself, many people who work at LinkAble want to study things like psychology, nursing, paramedics, or medicine at Uni. I feel like for that demographic, LinkAble provides such good experience and it’s also brilliant for your personal statement and CV.
I’m now 21, and while working at LinkAble, I’ve just finished University, where I studied psychology. I’ve just recently started working for an eating disorder clinic as a healthcare assistant. There are a number of people there who have autism, which is an area I’m really interested in and I have a lot of experience with due to my time at LinkAble. This role is the next step in my career before I start applying for psychology jobs.
I can honestly say I don't think I'd be the person I am today if I hadn't worked at LinkAble. I would 100% recommend it as a place to work. It’s incredibly fulfilling and you will learn so many new skills. I really don’t think there are many places where you will get an experience like you do working at LinkAble.