Youth unemployment in Letchworth has been consistently above the national average through this year. Concerned about the long-term impact this has on young people, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation applied to take part in the government initiative, Kickstart Scheme, with a plan to employ eight young people and the aim to encourage others to also join in. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit. The Heritage Foundation sought help from business support enterprise, Wenta, who have helped them to simplify and navigate the application process.
The Foundation aims to employ a further five Kickstarters in 2021.
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, with the help of business support social enterprise, Wenta, signed up to the government’s Kickstart programme in November 2020.
Garden City Greenway Events Co-Ordinator
Claudia Brett-Hulse joined the Foundation in May 2021 after being made redundant from her last role. Claudia is working on improving the Garden City Greenway and increasing its use during her six-month placement.
“I studied Events Management at Coventry University then went straight into working in events. I really found my passion in organising and planning for many diverse events but when I was made redundant, I found myself disheartened. The pandemic just worsened these feelings. The Job Centre was incredibly helpful and encouraged me to apply for a range of Kickstarter roles, including the Greenway Events Co-Ordinator.
“In this role, I am focusing on encouraging the use of the Greenway through events and activities. I have learned a lot in my brief time here and it has solidified my belief that I want to continue working in the events industry. I have also made friends at the Foundation that I now socialise with, which has made the experience even more rewarding.”
Digital Content Assistant
Alongside an Events Coordinator, the Foundation wanted to expand its digital support for upcoming projects for 2021. Serina Lall took on this role in late May this year, soon after completing her degree in PR & Marketing.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement so far. No two days are the same, so I know I am getting so much experience in the brief time I have at the Foundation. I am also a part of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion group, which showed me that the Heritage Foundation is invested in hearing from younger people.
“The team have all been very welcoming and supportive. It has also been lovely to work with a fellow Kickstarters, Claudia and Josh, on the Greenway project.
“I have been able to learn a variety of new skills that I can use in the future and continue my career into the communications and marketing industry."
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation also owns venues for the public to visit and enjoy, including Standalone Farm. Bethany Proctor began her role at Standalone Farm earlier this year. This role was created to support animal welfare; helping to make sure that they have fresh food, water, bedding and checking to make sure that they are healthy, but Bethany has also helped with activities at the farm.
She says, “I have helped with the activities we put on for visitors to Standalone Farm including Pig Feeding, Meet the Donkeys, Kunekune Pig Feeding and Meet the Pony. This involves making sure the public are safe, the animals are safe and happy, sharing information about the animals, and answering questions.
"I am really enjoying my role as I get to work alongside a wonderful team, who are lovely to work with and have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of animals. Every day on the farm is different and I’m learning new skills all the time – it’s never boring!”