My Year of Service experience with Working Wardrobe

The UK of Year of Service took me on in September and helped me attain a job as a Trafford Working Wardrobe Project Assistant centred in the Groundwork Greater Manchester offices. As a recent graduate, who’s only professional experience had been in a variety of retail stores, I was very intrigued to see what this career pathway had in store for me. I’m now over halfway through my journey with Groundwork and I absolutely love it. There are other UK Year of Service placement holders in the office as me, as well as other funded by the Kickstart scheme, so I am surrounded by people of a similar age and position to me which is certainly eased my first professional job anxieties.

The company also have offered so many opportunities for me is well. I am now First Aid trained, and have attained additional qualifications, such as Health and Safety in the Workplace, as well as a Carbon Literacy Certificate, which certifies I have a good understanding of Climate Change and the issues that surround it. This has allowed me to re-evaluate my own lifestyle choices and alter them to fit a sustainable ethos.

The UK Year of Service also have provided us with opportunities outside of Groundwork. We have been invited to a residential experience in Sheffield to meet other placement holders around the UK and listen to talks from motivational speakers, and inspirational actors, such as people who have ran social movements and build their businesses from the ground. These experiences have given me the perspective that I should never give up and anything is possible.

In regards to the job role itself, I have met so many inspiring people who have come from all walks of life and hearing their stories as well as their thanks towards what we do, has built up my confidence as well as my desire to stay within a career sector that benefits people in need. We have met individuals who have been homeless, caring for loved ones in their life or have been living in toxic households and all want to find their feet again by finding employment. Providing someone with that confidence boost makes me really happy and reminds me of how lucky I am to be on such a good placement.

My experience at Groundwork Greater Manchester has moulded my future drastically as I am now looking into jobs focused around social work and domestic abuse as I believe my newly founded passion is to ensure that people who are victims of oppression are given the support they deserve.

Written by Ashleigh Gildroy, Working Wardrobe Project Assistant